‘We don’t feel in recession’
A SURPRISING swell of optimism has been found among businesses despite the economic downturn.
Only five out of 80 companies in a straw poll at a conference in Ashford believed they were still in recession. And more than half said they were starting to see signs of recovery.
The verdicts came in a simple show of hands in a State of the Economy business breakfast at Eureka Business Park.
Judith Armitt, managing director of Ashford’s Future, said: “It was encouraging to learn how many businesses in Ashford are seeing the green shoots of recovery. The start of the full high-speed timetable on December 13 will, of course, give us another boost.
“Only five out of 80 companies considered they were still in recession, so this is a strong testament to Ashford’s status as a sustainable business location during uncertain financial times.”
Guest speaker Phil Eckersley, from the Bank of England, summed up the economic situation based on the Bank’s November 2009 Inflation Report.
This says the world economy is showing signs of recovery although activity is still far below pre-crisis levels.
In the UK, output fell by about 6 per cent over six quarters, but economic activity has begun to stabilise.
The event, chaired by Ashford MP Damian Green, also detailed business opportunities in Ashford with the £2.5bn development strategy to create 28,000 jobs and 31,000 homes by 2031.
LATEST figures for unemployment in Ashford show a slight dip, although they are still high. Statistic for this October show 1,977 people claiming jobseekers allowance (2.9 per cent compared with the national 4.1).
This is a slight fall on September, which was 2,008 (3 per cent). But in October 2008 the rate was 988 (1.5 per cent).