And the boffins seem to be agreed that, when they’ve got all the beans counted, we’ll be closer to a whole one per cent.
While I wouldn’t say the economy is flying just yet, what does look to be taking off is the construction sector, which in Q3 grew by a comparatively whopping 2.5%.
These are huge numbers and it can be quite easy to get caught up in all the percentage point hysteria without being able to nail things down to what’s happening in the real world.
But, if you want to bring some reality to the fine performance of the construction sector, put your head out of any window in London and count the cranes on the skyline.
And it’s not just construction that’s helping to build the economy back up, brick by brick. At Pimlico Plumbers we might officially be in the service sector, but, believe me, our guys are renovating like there’s no tomorrow.
I’ve been saying if for about six months, and it’s worth repeating today – customers are now acting like pre-recession consumers. And as a result of this we are doing more work, plain and simple!
A significant element of our growth has to be attributed to the ‘confidence’ factor. In general, our customers feel more secure in their lives and are confident enough to make the kind of spending decisions they’ve avoided over the past four or so years.
Of course, the level of unemployment, in particular among the under 25s, remains the unavoidable elephant in the room; but the overall economic picture feels a lot better.
So maybe we are seeing those mythical green shoots that politicians avoid talking about. In the last two years the economy has felt like an acorn trying to break through the soil, but now it’s beginning to grow into a small tree.
If we follow the government’s measure for Q3, my business’ three months to the end of September was up compared to April-June of this year by £130,000, which is more than 3 percent.
But if you compare the July to September 2013 to 2012, the difference at Pimlico Plumbers is a massive 14%, or more than half a million quid.
And if that isn’t a strong indication that real people, not politicians, treasury officials or analysts are fuelling the drive out of recession I don’t know what is.