Premier Inns bucks gloomy trend

Turnover at Premier Inns is up 10%, and charity shops are booming: what else is good about the recession?

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Last Updated: 06 Nov 2012

Here at MT we're not going to let you all go off into another wet and windy weekend feeling miserable. The volume of bad news this week on the economy has become oppressive and unendurable. We don't know about you but we've had the glass half empty attitude up to here. So here's an optimistic slant and a few little rays of sunshine as we try to find the bright side.

Revenues at Premier Inns, the cheap and cheerful hotels chain, owned by Whitbread, are up 10% in the last six months as business people trade down. Oxfam shops are so busy they are turning away anything that does carry a Prada or Dolce and Gabana label.

Meanwhile Aldi and Lidl have both had a boost - up 20% and 12% respectively. Perhaps the chatterati, who so love talking about the budget supermarkets, have actually started going there.

Okay, so car sales have crashed to their lowest level for more than 40 years. Aston Martin has seen a 67% per cent drop in sales only shifting 19 cars in August. And things are so tough at Bentley that they're going onto a three day week in Crewe. But think about the benefits to the environment. How much less CO2 is going to be emitted as a result? And maybe the M25, the M6 and the M1 will be a little less congested tonight.

House prices are now falling at their fastest rate since the Halifax began its index back in 1983. We're all facing going to hell in a handcart filled with negative equity. But just think - you won't be forced to endure any smug dinner party conversation about the value of people's property for at least a decade. And the divorce rate has suddenly dropped to a 26 year low because a house split down the middle is now worth half of diddly squit. So, this has to be good for social cohesion and the nation's children.

On the subject of divorce there was less good news Mohammadu Bello Abubakar, a Nigerian religious leader with 86 wives who has accepted an Islamic decree ordering him to divorce all but four of them. Their housing arrangements are going to require some extensive untangling. But he should look on the bright side too - last week one of Nigeria's top Islamic bodies, the Jamatu Nasril Islam, sentenced him to death for his marital excesses. The sentence has since been lifted. 

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