Why a drop in investment doesn't mean we can't look on the bright side

Hey there – you with the cocktail sausage. Put that down. And take off that party hat, too, for new figures have shown if you thought all this talk of business confidence and  bullishness meant the recession was over, you were sadly, sadly mistaken.

While ‘experts’ have been harping on about green shoots and ‘recovery’, the boffins at the Office for National Statistics (ONS) have been doing some sums – and, according to figures released today, it turns out things weren’t quite as rosy as we thought: business investment in things like computer equipment and new building projects has actually dropped. Quite a lot. The largest quarterly drop in 24 years, to be exact.

Yes, it turns out businesses haven’t been quite as committed to supporting the economy as they have to whining about how no-one is committed to supporting them, which means, essentially, that investment has dropped by more than 10% and the economy has lost £3.5bn in the last quarter.

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has reacted to the news with characteristic optimism.

“[This] signals serious threats to Britain’s long-term recovery,” chirped its chief economist, David Kern.

“Unless this trend can be reversed, the long-term productive capacity of the economy will be damaged, and the country will lack the necessary capital stock to sustain a recovery, paving the way for a zombie invasion, overthrow of the government, riots, and the eventual downfall of humanity.”

We may have exaggerated his words slightly – but Smarta really thinks it’s time to ease up on the pessimism. It was a recession – obviously businesses were going to spend less.

Let’s all try and raise the BCC out of their miserable little torpor with a song. All together now – ‘always look on the bri-ight side of life...’

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