Now, it might just be the result of shock over the recent spate of sun, but apparently British pessimism has lifted a little. This new found hopeful perspective is directed towards a sector which usually yields a pretty miserable response – finances.
Those badly hit by price hikes, restricted budgets, barely rising wages and unemployment might be scoffing right now.
But, despite 43% of the general public expecting to see their financial situation worsen over the next year, not since April 2010 have consumers expressed such an upbeat outlook concerning future finances. Markit, the survey compiler, claimed that the slowest drop in cash availability in over 18 months has been reported by households.
This may seem surprising given that the morale dampening rain of recent months, coupled with seemingly unending recession woes and increasing concerns over job security, have had a significant impact on consumer spending habits.
Although remaining below that elusive 50 mark, the headline Household Finance Index ticked up 0.5 per cent from June, to 37.5 and its highest level since March.
After shops brought forward their bargain based summer sales to June (a decision they may now be regretting) inflation fell to 2.4 per cent, almost half of last Septembers 5.2 % high.
But, as always, this nod to optimism is not expected to last.
Markit economist Tim Moore seemed unaffected by the weekend sun, glumly stating: Inflation has fallen more quickly than expected over the summer, but this is cold comfort for many households given continuing weak pay trends […]Job insecurities and lower incomes are crimping underlying consumer demand, which adds to recent gloom over the wider UK economic outlook.’
Those of us who see the glass of Pimms as always half full can but hope that sliding inflation (and the appearance of some summer sun) could draw consumers out of hiding and back onto the high street.