Ready, Steady…

There seems to be a bit more of a buzz around the place in the past few weeks. Since the 12th of April and the reinstatement of at least a couple of our (previously taken for granted) freedoms, I detect a sense of joy and optimism in people who I meet.

Some media commentators have speculated that we may see another ‘roaring 20’s’ in the 2000s to mirror the roaring 20’s in the 1900s.

Wikipedia gives the following rather useful definition of the original roaring twenties:

“The Roaring Twenties was a decade of economic growth and widespread prosperity, driven by recovery from wartime devastation and deferred spending, a boom in construction, and the rapid growth of consumer goods such as automobiles and electricity in North America and Europe”

Now, of course there will be some subtle differences (100 years have passed after all), but I think there are a huge amount of similarities between now and then.

Although we have not been through a war in the traditional sense, we have fought a war against the virus and the effect of this, economically at least, has been very similar to a war – namely – deferred consumer spending and huge government stimulus for economies.

It has been well reported that there is a volume of pent up demand in the economy for retail spending, holidays, travel and experiences. I think the UK is better placed to capitalise on this demand than many other economies for a number of reasons.

Firstly we have the huge success of the vaccination programme. Feel free to criticize the governments’ handling of almost any other aspect of the pandemic, but I think we can all agree the vaccine rollout has been somewhat of a triumph.

In addition, as an island nation, we do have relative control over our borders and we now seem to be willing to implement measures to stop other variants of the virus arriving on our shores.

Although this may mean restricted international travel for some time to come, in many ways this is positive for UK PLC as it means more of that deferred spending might take place at home rather than abroad.

I have certainly been enjoying some time out in London since the 12th of April and what is so lovely to see is that there seems to be a sense of jubilance about the place. Even if we have been sitting outside freezing while eating our dinner, we seem to be happy to do so – for now at least.

I think the boom will gather pace as the 17th of May arrives and we are allowed inside again – I am sure the great British weather will greet that moment with a heatwave in its own ironic way – and then we will all want to be sitting outside rather than being forced to!

Whatever you have planned over the coming weeks – please enjoy it and take advantage of whatever you feel comfortable with. Although the ‘roadmap’ is supposedly ‘irreversible’, you can never say never with something like Covid. So…make hay while the sun shines!