If you’re underwater and you’re trying to make it to the surface, it’s best to keep your mouth shut.   It’s the image that comes to mind when I hear various commentators, journalists, politicians, analysts and the like talking about the latest GDP figures that showed ‘we are out of recession.’   There is talk about the Olympics having ‘kick started’ the economy.  Kick starting would appear to long lasting, as if firing up an old engine and getting it into gear again after having been in neutral for so long.   Never mind that bankers put us into reverse…

And here we are today talking about GDP figures and 1% growth and we have lots people talking about how encouraging that is. The Olympics and Paralympics supposedly generated 0.2% of that and what with the Queen’s jubilee holiday in the last quarter the overall effect is let’s say, 0.2% growth, apparently.  Not staggering.  Yesterday someone from the CBI was on the BBC sofa talking about how this is great news for everyone.  They can be more optimistic based on the good news and go out and spend their money.   That was the message…in so many circuitous words, presumably in the hope that people will actually go out on the streets and spend all the cash that they are ‘going’ to make in the future.   Presume the CBI would like them get a loan from Wonga to help perpetuate the Olympics effect.

It would appear people interviewed on the street beg to differ with the CBI’s optimistic outlook.  It might have something to do with rising travel prices, rising energy bills, further pressure on household budgets.   Maybe they are looking in astonishment as the thoughts of their dwindling savings go through their head and how much closer they are to bankruptcy than they were this time last year.   Oh and btw, for those that have wondered in the past about people supposedly illogically paying off debt in difficult times, it’s the fear of repossession that does it.   It only takes one organization to file for bankruptcy and the rest will come knocking.  It’s the fear of the mountain of debt that you know is there unless you chip it away to at least a manageable level. Otherwise one day you, like a marathon runner, will hit that wall.

I fear that we might well be counting our chickens and as we know neither the banks, the Bank of England or the Government has been shown to be much good at counting anything.   Best suggestion is they keep their ears to the ground and self-congratulatory words to a minimum.  If there are signs of life it has nothing to do with their efforts and more to do with our resilience and determination, traits so exemplified by the athletes that graced these fields over the summer and a fire as hot as the sun that burned within them.   It’s one thing for them to try and talk us out of a recession, it is quite another to get out of it, requiring strength, tenacity, and the courage and bravery of the people, most surely a true Olympian task.

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