People who are out to talk us down and into recession should get out more.
On Saturday afternoon I took some time off to go to the Globe theatre. I walked along the south bank to get there on a sunny day. It was extremely difficult doing so, as the generous walkway was crowded with people. At each of the attractions, like the London Eye, there were long queues to pay and visit. The numerous cafes and restaurants were packed, even though I was not passing at a peak mealtime. When I and my friends did buy lunch it was a good job I had booked well in advance as the place was completely full.
The London I walked through is still a forest of construction cranes. A large building of very expensive new flats was opening for occupation. I was told 80% of them are already sold, with the small starter unit costing an eye popping £800,000. That must be foreign buyers still coming. The tube is regularly overloaded, and not just at peak hours.
In Wokingham local businesses tell me their turnovers are fine, and employment remains at very high levels. Estate Agents report a brisk trade with many viewings and offers for properties at or around asking prices. The Wokingham traffic is as bad as ever, implying plenty of activity. Some of commercial property funds which gated following an early rush for the exit, are now facing inflows from buyers and having to adjust their pricing upwards to take this into account.
With employment up, real wages up, interest rates down and money and credit expanding a recession is unlikely. Government borrowing rates have just got much lower, the FTSE 100 is up over the last month, and there is plenty of activity in the commercial property market. One company has just reported letting some remaining space in a City building at £100 a square foot.