Green shoots?

2 July 2009
Ever since business minister Shriti Vadera made the widely criticised comment about the economy's "green shoots" in January, the term has haunted me. You hear it everywhere. So much so, you could quite easily draw comparisons between the economy and a farm. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy hearing and reading positive sentiment about financial conditions, but my gut tells me it's all a bit premature. I think today's construction PMI reflected this. The rate of decline in activity has steadily slowed in recent months, but today contraction accelerated. As CIPS CEO David Noble comments, the industry is on a "knife edge" and the data adds to the speculation of a "w-shaped" recession. This means while we are witnessing improvement in some areas, we are far from out of the woods. It is a prediction I am far more comfortable with. Which way will the economy go? Will future PMI's add weight to the idea of a w-shaped recession?
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