Peter Hoskin

Confidence returns

Confidence returns
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One of the most significant news stories of the day comes courtesy of the Institute of Chartered Accountants:

"Confidence among business professionals has surged, suggesting the recession is at an end, a survey has said.

The Institute of Chartered Accountants' index of business confidence rose to 4.8 at the end of June, from -28.2 in March, the biggest rise for two years."

Economically speaking, this is encouraging stuff – it's the view from the frontline of the real economy, after all.  And these types of surveys always tend to have a self-fulfilling quality, as more confident companies adopt the measures – spending, hiring etc. – which are likely to drive us out of recession.

But, from a political perspective, it's hard to see how rising confidence is going to change anything.  For reasons I've gone into before (here and here), Brown's "green shoots strategy" is scuppered before he even has a chance to implement it.  And not least because plenty of other countries will be officially out of recession before we get our next set of quarterly growth statistics in October.

P.S. Having said that, Nouriel Roubini – aka "Dr. Doom" – has a comment piece in today's FT warning that "the risk of a double-dip recession is rising".