They say it is a recession if your neighbour looses their job, a depression if you loose yours (economists pride themselves that their jokes are relatively better than accountants). By no means the economic definition, but the IMF has warned that the UK faces two years of economic pain.
Executive Directors agreed with the thrust of the staff appraisal. They observed that, following a decade of sustained strong economic performance, including stable economic growth and low inflation, the UK economy is now facing several concomitant shocks. The strong policy frameworks and structural reforms that have underpinned this remarkable performance will be tested by lower growth, higher inflation from food and fuel price increases, ongoing strains in financial markets, rapid housing price reversals, and medium-term external imbalances. The financial sector strains have also triggered a broad-based effort to reform the financial stability framework.
Which on a personal level I have just felt as, after many years of downsizing, I have taken advantage of redundancy at work. The changing demographics, taxation and legislation, smoking ban, credit crunch and national promotions that have not worked in getting bums on seats means that for so long with backs against the wall I had been aware of the writing slowly appearing on it.
So a skeleton crew remains (I wish everyone well through the challenging times). But while admittedly I am down because this is good bye to an industry I have enjoyed working in, I feel excited that this is my chance to search for new opportunities – in the Who Moved My Cheese? kind of a way.