The Courier & Advertiser (Angus and Dundee)

A time of economic boom and gloom

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Two reports published this morning paint radically different pictures of the country’s economic situation.

The first suggests we remain in the tight and merciless grip of a crippling global downturn, with a significan­t minority of middle-class people claiming they would struggle to pay a surprise bill of £500.

Published by research group YouGov, it claims young people and women are feeling the pinch most acutely.

In stark contrast, the second report – released by analysts Mintel – suggests a far more upbeat reality.

Citing higher spending on holidays, gourmet dining and expensive wine, it concludes that cautious “recession-era” spending is becoming a thing of the past.

While at first glance the surveys would appear to be diametrica­lly opposed, what they perhaps do share in common is that they reflect a “two-track” recovery.

Those better off tend to be far more upbeat about their financial prospects – not to mention their ability to pay the bills – while those on lower, and indeed even middle, incomes remain far more wary.

While it would be premature to claim all is well, we can perhaps at least say with some confidence that the picture is an improving one.

A few short years ago, one would not be able to find any reports suggesting brighter times ahead.

Not everybody is feeling the benefit yet, but perhaps we can now at least dare to hope the recovery is taking hold.

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