Blog: Don't green shoot the messenger
Dean Best | 9 June 2009
The phrase “green shoots of recovery” has become something of a cliché here in the UK. Certainly any politician that has used it recently has been shot down quickly by detractors who claim the individual must be wildly out of touch with reality, mad or both.
That said, businessmen, politicians and commentators alike are still desperately searching for any signs the proverbial shoots exist.
On first view, today's figures on retail sales values in May offer little good news on that front.
Facing a strong comparison with figures in the same month last year, UK retail sales values fell in May, despite a boost from warm weather and the bank holidays.
Sales fell 0.8% on a like-for-like basis and rose only 0.8% on a total basis, from May 2008, when sales rose strongly in the sunny weather. Food sales slowed after a strong Easter boost in April.
Usually, we wouldn't take much notice of monthly figures as they can be wildly unrelated to the overall trend. That said there was enough in the figures for Joanne Denney-Finch, chief executive, of IGD, to offer some optimism, and that, these days, is worth a comment.
“At last, some sources are beginning to report signs of economic stabilisation: the stock market is strengthening, the pound is up and confidence seems to be improving. Even the weather was good in May, especially in the second half,” she said.
Wisely, though, she quickly dampened down any thoughts she may stray into green shoot territories.
“There is a long way to go, however, and the difficult climate is being reflected in shopping choices. IGD research shows that 28% of shoppers have changed their grocery shopping habits and most say they will not change back, regardless of any economic recovery."
To follow on from our earlier notice and after some hard work from our technical team, just-food is back live after today's power outage....
Much of the UK has felt the impact of Storm Doris today - and just-food's head office has been no exception....
A year after union officials alleged Fyffes abused workers on plantations in Central America - and called on the produce giant to be kicked out of the Ethical Trading Initiative forum - the company is...
Much of the chatter about where 3G Capital could look next has centred on packaged food - but might the private-equity fund be about to extend its foodservice empire?...
- US food next wave on display at Winter Fancy Food
- Does Kraft Heinz want to swallow Unilever whole?
- Comment: Meal kits in US - don't believe the hype
- Focus: Nestle CEO plan to balance sales, earnings
- Wessanen eyes growth in "resurgent" organic market
- Unilever launches operational review
- Kraft Heinz pulls Unilever bid
- Kerry operating earnings strengthen on slow sales
- General Mills issues profit warning
- Glanbia focuses on nutrition with Irish dairy spin