What do we reckon about................... the recession? A final word.

The main thrust of this thread has been that any definition of recession based on quarterly economic growth figures is misleading, and furthermore that politicians use these numbers to talk things up, when perhaps they shouldn't. My previous posts on this can be found at http://stevestonechat.blogspot.com/2011/06/what-do-we-reckon-about-recession.html and http://stevestonechat.blogspot.com/2011/06/what-do-we-reckon-about-recession_27.html

I think I can prove just how misleading these definitions can be, and demonstrate why they are so dangerous in terms of their effect on decision-making - from personal experience.

You'll see above that I used to own a snooker club. It was situated in a busy town centre in England. A lengthy period of good trading was observed around the middle of the last decade. Then, in early 2007, I noticed a decline in business. At first, I thought that people were just being cautious after excessive Christmas expenditure, but in March 2007, things got a little worse again.

And then I learnt something, during a phone call with the local Borough Council. They employed people to analyse CCTV footage of the local shopping centre that surrounded the club, and reported that 30% fewer people were visiting than the month previously, a fact that was mirrored by decline in their revenue from parking meters. During the same week, British media for the first time began to talk about the 'credit crunch'.

Putting these two things together, and looking out of the windows, I could feel that a recession had begun, and I thought it would be a deep one. You can only cut overheads so much, and there was the added fact that the British smoking ban was due to commence July 1st of that year. I quickly began formulating an exit strategy, and before too long, I sold the club on. Thank goodness I did that - the club eventually closed in February 2010, with rather significant debts.

You can imagine my surprise when, based on three consecutive quarters of negative growth, the British Government finally announced a recession had 'officially' begun - in October 2009. And there's your proof.....

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