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Editor’s letter: Any second now

LET IT GROW, let it grow, let it grow…

If it wasn’t such bloody hard work for all concerned then I would say it’s fascinating to watch the tentative signs of economic recovery develop.

It’s not so much a thing of marvel and beauty, such as a butterfly emerging from a chrysalis – it’s more a pregnant pause without the punchline.

While UK plc isn’t exactly about to explode into action, particularly as financing growth is still fiendishly difficult, you suspect that stability in the eurozone and the US should keep FDs and CFOs relatively chipper.

The trick will lie in making clever bolt-ons and forays into niche markets without breaking the bank (the banks can do that for themselves). Those sitting at the top of the tree in their markets would be wise not to rest on their laurels. Along with looking for new opportunities, finance directors will need to stay vigilant on cost control and cashflow.

As the FTSE 100 alone sits on nearly £170bn, you’d expect someone to blink soon. I’d imagine it will be the investors who call for the utilisation of these funds.

We can only hope that the government can then help out with the structural issues that will affect improved performance: infrastructure investment, less red tape, etc.
But you don’t need to look too far – page 39, in fact – to read about the pain in the proverbial that is pensions legislation.

Will auto-enrolment eat into the few spare pennies that UK employees have at their disposal? Could that hold back consumer spending? Maybe I’m getting carried away, but it does sometimes feel as if UK corporates and their FDs are getting on with the business of getting on, in spite of unneeded interferences.

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