When considering 2019 in retrospect, the kneejerk reaction would be to say that it has been a hard year. But when we stop and consider the facts, they might tend to tell a different story. Gretchen Rubin is credited with the quote ‘The days are long, but the years are short’ in the context of raising children, but as quotes go, it feels like the perfect summary of 2019.
Brexit, elections, vote after vote after vote and continued uncertainty have filled our days, very few of which have not contained another twist or turn in the omnishambles of UK/EU relations and our country’s leadership in general. Somehow, we have battled through each day and we now find ourselves at the end of the year wondering where the last 12 months have gone and how could 2019 have passed so quickly?
Whilst the weakness of sterling and the impact of the annual rise in the minimum wage have made 2019 more difficult for importers and those relying on significant numbers of low skill workers, the majority of our clients have continued to report consistent profits. The local economy in Chichester and West Sussex also seems to have (broadly) withstood the continually publicised doom and gloom, although the retail picture, like everywhere, remains finely balanced. Christmas will undoubtedly be a key time for many big names on the high street with reports already suggesting several brands will disappear within days of posting their festive trading results. Only time will tell.
Normally at this time of year you can turn your attentions towards planning for the year ahead but with just a handful of working days left we still have an election to come, so there will surely be a few more long days to endure. We can only hope that the outcome of 12th December is a strong and stable Government (heard that before somewhere…?!) that can end the stalemate of the last 3 years, whichever way this may be.
In summary, the macro response to 2019 is a hard year whilst the detail, for many, still indicates an air of positivity.