Economy not out of the woods but heading in right direction

Photo: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire
Photo: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

There is a lot of evidence to suggest that long sunny days make people feel happier and, with all the different events taking place across Pendle, there are also a lot of fun activities to get involved in.

Over recent weeks, I have been delighted to attend Trawden Show, visit some of our local sports clubs and attend other community events.

I’ve also been pleased to speak at two of our local Rotary Clubs, who both do excellent work in the community.

However, away from the fun and sun, when I have been working in my office I have been really encouraged by the raft of surveys revealing increased optimism, growing consumer spending and growth across the UK.

In a remarkable development showing the rebound is now no longer confined to London, a Lloyds TSB’s survey for July implied the fastest-paced business growth in at least 12 years, with growth in every region of the country. The best part of this was that the fastest-growing region of the country was the North West of England.

We also heard that unemployment in Pendle has fallen once again. The number of unemployed people in Pendle in July was 1,852 (4.4% of the economically active population).

What is especially encouraging about this news is that, with a national unemployment rate of 7.8% it would seem our local economy is recovering more quickly than the rest of the UK.

The housing market is also showing signs of recovery, research from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors indicates.

New figures show the Government’s “Help To Buy” scheme has attracted 10,000 successful applications.

This is an apparent acceleration since June – when 4,000 registrations were recorded.

The economy is not out of the woods yet, but it would appear that soon there may be more reasons to be happy apart from just the weather.