On the day the main news was that we are about to go into triple dip recession when the trade figures are ‘adjusted’ I attended an economic outlook on the economy and what this means to South Yorkshire highlighting the key risks and uncertainties. Fitch also downgraded our triple A rating on this day.
The sun was shining when we went in and it was a nice warm day. The seminar was held at the Tankersley Manor Hotel in Barnsley. The pre seminar food and drink was very welcome and very tasty and most of the usual suspects about when free buffets are available were there, including the Barnsley and Rotherham chamber chief exec, Andrew Denniff. He had just dashed from another buffett at Rotherham United but still managed to devour a plate of sandwiches and chips with the immortal words, ‘never refuse food, who knows when you will eat again’
The orginal speaker was unavailable so we settled down to listen to Sebastian Burnside who had economic degrees and PHD’s to spare. The talk was very informative and brought home why the country is struggling so much. The most interesting fact to myself was the fact that whilst exports were up and business was looking good, this was all cancelled out by the fact that oil revenues are down a massive 38% and that is a big ask to make up.
The key point that came out was that the householder has adjusted to the austere environment and is getting down the household debt that existed in record proportions in 2008. The government however has not adjusted as well and despite shedding 400,000 jobs is still struggling to cope.
A lively question and answer session followed, and the typically cynical Yorkshire crowd posed some tough questions, some of which Sebastian had to resort to the ‘I’ll leave you my card and get back to you on that one’. Overall though he coped very well.
As we all filed out of the Tankersley Manor the rain started again and the temperature had dropped 5 degrees just to add to the doom and gloom !