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    Woe is me...the end is nigh...or is it?

    Wednesday, 28 January 2009 09:27 by Simon Fineman

    I wasn't sure if there was still life left in the economy so in the last few weeks I decided to go and find out for myself.  I presented myself to some of our esteemed customers; the good news is that the economy is still alive, albeit a bit wheezy.

       I asked joinery manufacturers if they were busy, and many said they are. I visited builders’ merchants and asked if they were still selling wood, and the answer was yes.
       I even found a very well known luxury boat manufacturer who still has a twelve month order book.  Oh yes, and I also tried to buy my wife a second hand estate car and found every one I enquired about was already sold.

       Why is it then that I can hardly watch the BBC news any more because it is so gloomy? It seems the editors must be on downers to promote depression.  Last week one headline alarmingly sounded out that, in amongst all the falling indexes, inflation was down to 3.1%!  Are we now being fed the line that lower inflation is bad news even though the rate is still well over the government's 2% target?

      The notion of context couldn't be in the syllabus when they train journalists who apparently all seem to believe that a 1% fall in any statistic is an unmitigated disaster, signaling the end of the world as we know it.  There seems to be an obsession with how bad can we make the news sound.  Newsreaders vie with one another to see who can put on the most somber tone.  Surely soon they will have to take to openly weeping as they report the economic statistics.

      Honestly, life is still going on.  The phones still ring every day with orders and even if the numbers are lower there is work to be done.  Most importantly, economic fortunes are not the only issues, and I for one prefer not to be incessantly bombarded with bad economic news all the time as though the very existence of life on earth as we know it is under threat.  We need to celebrate the good things as well, but patently the media is not interested in that message.

       Take my word for it...the economy is still alive.


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