2011 is set to be an interesting year. It will be the year when austerity begins to bite and uncertainty will raise its ugly head once more.
The effect on the UK economy, and on the bathroom industry in particular, may be unsettling. No-one really knows, or can even guess, what effect our government’s measures will have.
But there are a few indicators.
2011 has kicked off with an increase in VAT. Big ticket items, which include the new bathroom, will suffer from the 2.5 % increase. Economists expect a dent in sales for the first 3 months at least but the hope is that Easter and a little sun from the approaching Spring will buck up orders.
The same economists tell us that interest rates are also set to rise during the year. We have seen two years of rates bottomed-out at their all-time low but the inevitable economic cycle suggests that they are bound to rise. This is great news for savers but mortgage payers will find themselves squeezed and their pockets suddenly shallower.
Our hope is that when we write this comment column in twelve months’ time we will have come through it reasonably unscathed and can look forward to the Olympics year with a little more optimism.