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Was 2015 a good year?

I am writing this as we approach the end of the year with thoughts turning to enjoying a good Christmas before implementing plans set for 2016, at this time it is perhaps worth reflecting on how the economy has influenced the business environment over the past twelve months and what lessons can be learned for next year.

Firstly what didn’t change, bank base rate remained at 0.5% for the entire year, it is indeed hard to believe that in the period prior to 2009, interest rates were subject to regular change and were a huge factor in determining short-term business decisions. The current rate has not changed for six years and any speculation around interest rate movements is focussed on what might happen within the next six to twelve months rather than at the next meeting of the Bank of England Monetary Committee. A low rate of interest maintained for a long period has provided a degree of certainty on the part of lenders and borrowers and has resulted in 2015 seeing significantly higher levels of business investment with leasing enjoying very strong ‘year on year’ growth.

The replacement of a Conservative led coalition government by a majority Conservative government in May ensured that there was to be no radical change to economic policy and as such provided a further degree of stability to the business environment. Whilst there are domestic issues which threaten the UK economy in the future, not least a rapidly increasing deficit in our balance of payments and the growing speculation about whether, or not, we leave the EU, business leaders and consumers have concentrated on the stability outlined above and driven UK economic growth to what is likely to be a perfectly respectable 2.5% during 2015.

The major threats to our domestic prosperity during the last twelve months have come from overseas. In a global economy dominated by three large entities, USA, China and the Eurozone, no single country can avoid problems if one or more of the three falter. Two specific threats loomed large in 2015, firstly the Greek financial crisis directly threatened the economies of all Eurozone members and secondly there was a significant slowing in the growth of the Chinese economy (growth on which the rest of the world relied in the period that followed the near collapse of the US and European banking systems in 2008). In both cases policy makers have taken significant action and as such world GDP continued to grow at a rate that has allowed us to prosper over the past twelve months. A question for 2016 will be whether or not these issues re-surface and whether the recent slump in commodity prices (particularly oil), which in the short-term has been good for our economic growth, becomes a significant negative factor in the context of the global economy.

The IT and leasing industries are barometers of the overall economy and as such 2015 has been a solid year of progress for most and it is to be hoped that this will be repeated in 2016.

Andy MilsomAndy Milson, Head of Partner Training & Development at BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions

Andy is an experienced sales and finance professional with over 25 years’ experience in sales aid leasing. Andy is widely recognised as an expert in business finance and has in recent years focused his attention on developing partner sales teams develop an understanding of how businesses secure project financing. His training programme  – Finance Unlocked – is a highly rated customisable course and is offered at no cost to partners.

If you’re interested in helping your sales team overcome finance-related hurdles during the selling cycle, please get in touch with Andy on
07966 114 243 or email here.

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