Only a few weeks ago the Bank of England’s chief economist, Spencer Dale, said that the UK had experienced a very deep recession and that it would take a few years before we can say that we are really out of the ‘mire’. I think it is reasonable to say that it seems that the UK’s economy is moving in the right direction.
With unemployment falling we are no doubt looking at interest rates, mindful that the new Bank of England Mark Carney has said that he would not consider a rate rise until unemployment fell below 7%. Some reports suggest that the British economy is growing faster than any other rich developed economy, particularly within the EU.
There are predictions that the UK GDP would have risen by over 3% last year, we have not seen these levels since before the economic crash of 2007-8. From when business investment plummeted in 2008 we have yet to witness a sustained recovery. The outcome for most of us has been a persistent squeeze in living standards and disposable income since 2008.
Often the purchasing trend of new cars is seen as a good indicator of the economy. The car industry has picked up in the US and Europe, Chrysler, now owned by Fiat, reported a 22% rise in third quarter profit and a rise in net revenue by 13.5%. Also, Volkswagen has recently reported an increase in profit to 2.78bn euros. The purchase of new cars in the UK has risen for each of the last 18 months and is back to pre-recession levels.
There is clearly a lot more momentum in the UK economy than there was in January 2013 let alone throughout 2012. If the Chancellor is right and the recovery is under way that can only be good news.
The UK construction sector is starting 2014 on a strong footing and it is not only within the housing sector. The Markit/CIPS purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for the sector recorded a level of 62.1 in December, fractionally below the 62.6 recorded for November, which was the highest figure for six years. Importantly the figure is well above 50 which is the difference between growth and contraction. The construction sector has seen the number of new jobs increase for the last seven months.
With the improving economic climate business leaders (including ‘one man bands’) would do well to remember that clearly defined goals which have been shared within the organisation will greatly increase the chances of achieving those goals. However goals alone will not guarantee success, desire and motivation are key qualities that need to be viable throughout the organisation. Moreover, business leaders and team managers need to have unshakeable determination and persistence in spite of obstacles and barriers to success that they will meet on the journey.
Happy New Year, I am off to review my goals for 2014.
Alan Fletcher 6 January 2014