Market shows signs of a return to form


January produced a number of economic indicators that add weight to the prospect of a speedy rebound from recession.

Manufacturing across the globe picked up at significant speed, especially in the UK as the weak pound helped exporters produce the biggest surge in 15 years.

Of course, the weak pound is a by-product of a weak economy but what is theoretically a negative indicator has in fact boosted the manufacturing sector.

Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary summed it up by saying “it’s great because it’s awful”. He certainly sees a silver lining.

While December’s lending figures aren’t even comparable to pre-credit crunch levels there was a time when the market was predicting a negative £25bn net lending figure for 2009.

Instead, we achieved a net increase of £11.5bn so the industry kissed goodbye to 2009 in better shape than it welcomed it.

We have been helping banks manage their exposure to mortgages and have seen a significant upturn in orders in the past couple of months. As a result of this and planned expansion we are busily recruiting staff.

Businesses that have a competitive advantage should do well in a market that seems to be coming out of the doldrums.

I’m no economist but my fear of a double-dip downturn is starting to ease slightly and hopes that 2010 will mark a beginning of a return to form for the mortgage market are increasing.