Recession in Lancashire

Recession rears its ugly head

I have been fortunate to have managed a limited company for the past seven years. Beginning my directorship smack bang in the middle of the big recession/financial crisis of 2007-8. As a result, I have never experienced the process of going into recession but know what it will most likely look like when we get into it.

The Signs – Recession in Lancashire?

I have noticed a few worrying signals of recent that many businesses are beginning to struggle. Customer purchases for a variety of sectors are slowing down. Businesses are pulling back on expenses and services. Is this enough to signal a recession? I was not sure but then encountered the following two signals that make me certain we are on our way.

1. Fall in phone handset sales. In the UK, we are very lucky. Despite many economic issues, we are in general a wealthy nation with citizens relatively spoilt. By this I mean it is common for most people to buy new mobile phone handsets. Recent figures, however, have shown a reduction in this metric. Is this a sign of less cash in the average person’s pocket and therefore fewer handsets being bought?

2. Mentioning the above at a network meeting I regularly attend on Friday I was told by a locksmith friend that they have seen a sharp rise in house repossessions over the past month. This is often a good indicator of economic hardship. The locksmith in questions holds contracts with both local police and large energy firms. If either require entry to a property his business provides that service. As a result, his finger is on the pulse of the lowest paid in society and a flurry of repossessions, requiring locksmith services, is a bad sign.

Conclusion

I am not an economist. I cannot predict the future but there are some concerning signals of developments within the local economy. Maybe it is a blip in trading. Maybe it is a lull from the tail end of the summer holiday. We will only find out in time.

I like to practise the saying “Plan for the worst, hope for the best.” We will plan for a recession and what it may bring but also hope it does not happen.
Have you noticed any of the above? What are your thoughts?

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