In a previous post (Back to the good old days?), I discarded my metaphysical economic crystal ball, which had predicted a long recession. I did so in undue haste, as it turns out: Britain’s Q3 figures show that its GDP is still shrinking. The figures may be adjusted later, but it’s unlikely to show signs of a strong recovery.
So what about Q4? Christmas shopping season beckons, which should mean more consumer spending, and that must help a consumer society like Britain. However, rising unemployment, and events such as the swine flu and postal strikes can dampen consumers’ willingness to go out side shopping (fear of contracting the flu) or order things on-line (they won’t arrive because the postal workers are on strike). Like last year, retailers may start to sell their wares at a discount, even before Christmas.