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OPINION - City comment: No news is good news — at least in the world of business

·1-min read
It’s quiet out there  (PA Wire)
It’s quiet out there (PA Wire)

No news is good news, they say, and for once they might be right.

We may only be two days in to the new working year, but so far the silence from most of corporate Britain has been reassuring.

No spectacular profit warnings from big retailers. No urgent missives from banks admitting that last year’s steady loans are turning into this year’s bad debts.

It’s hard to say that the most recent economic news has been good.

Energy prices are soaring, which is sure to squeeze household spending.

The FT’s annual survey of 100 economists finds that the dismal scientists think the UK will be held back by lingering Brexit-effects and higher taxes.

As a nation, we are bound to be constrained by global issues beyond our control – supply chain problems, climate change and that virus you may have read about.

Thanks FT, happy new year.

And since you and everyone you know has been at least mildly ill since about October, the state of the nation’s health doesn’t sound good for any industries outside those that make paracetamol and vitamins.

It is possible to see past all of this. Feel free to remind me of this foolish optimism next week when there is a glut of profit warnings announcing that job cuts are now inevitable.

But I don’t think there will be. The Christmas period may not have been hilarious, but big businesses, at least, have figured out how to cope. This year should be better than last and much better than the one before it. That may not sound like everything, but it’s something.

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