Is the UK economy really recovering? Over the last week, a wave of upbeat survey results has driven a tsunami of positive economic headlines. A mood is spreading that the country may now, finally, be emerging from the gloom of the sub-prime crisis. Manufacturers’ order books are showing their strongest overall growth rate in 18 years, according to the latest monthly survey by the Confederation of British Industry. Manufacturers’ expectations of future output have similarly climbed, says the CBI, well-above long-term trends.
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, too, has just reported that car production in October was 17pc higher than the same month in 2012, with domestic demand being driven by rising consumer confidence. Many families are certainly feeling more flush, given that house prices were up 7pc on October last year, the increase in part reflecting Help to Buy and Funding for Lending.