Monday, December 20, 2010

More bloody snow

So, here we are, in the last few working days up to Christmas, and the whole bloody country seems to have ground to a halt again because of the snow.
I live near Gatwick and the news reports are full of stories of people stranded at the airports either trying to get away or trying to get home somewhere before Christmas. The news channels must be loving it - they can spend the whole day going live to helicopter shots over the M25 or Gatwick.
Also, we hear that retailers have seen their share prices fall, as people just haven't been able to get to the shops. One wonders what will happen to the boxing day sales if people haven't been able to get to the shops before Christmas day.
Of course, Christmas is the ultimate shopping scam anyway, in terms of forcing people to buy before the 25th, even though we know that prices will be lower on the 26th.
In economic news we hear from the CBI that they have scaled down their estimate for 1st quarter growth to an insipid 0.2%, with not much improvement through 2012. There also seems to be some expectation that interest rates will have to rise, to help curb inflation. Given that we are all going to be hit by higher VAT and other increases next year, that's hardly going to be welcome news. In terms of people with Spanish mortgages or other euro mortgages, there may be a small upside as the pound may strengthen with higher interest rates. Whatever happens, it looks like being a tough 2011.....

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