32.75 million in work, vacancies at a low of 800K, unemployment down by 23K to 1.31M. The statistic most closely watched by SMEs in this very positive employment picture is that of average earnings which slowed in October to an annual rise of 3.6% down from 3.8%. Nervous at the increasingly outlandish electoral spending promises made by the two main parties, those who remember the period from 1975 to 1985 are wondering just how it will all be paid for. The answer of course is that a good part of that spending will not happen, but what is spent will be inflationary.
Yesterday marked the first ever official state visit by a Spanish monarch to the 60 year old dictatorship visiting Havana which was founded by Spanish Conquistador Diego Velazquez in 1514 and was used as a staging post between the New World and the Old by the Spanish. Old Havana was where in the 16th century the Spanish put in to re-supply their galleons weighed down with captured booty before undertaking the long voyage back to Cadiz. King Felipe is fittingly finally making this visit as Spain is today Cuba’s 3rd largest trading partner and one of the largest inward investors. Madrid Airport Duty Free as cigar aficionados will know, is one of the best places to snap up a box of Partagas Maduro No 1s.
Finding sleep elusive in the middle of the night after watching the late news, and unconvinced by the idea of counting sheep, I put the small hours to good use by researching a scientific means of going to sleep quickly. The US Marines hold the answer: they have a well tried procedure in their manual which guarantees sleep in under 2 minutes even sitting upright on a hard chair in a brightly lit room.
The procedure is as follows: Relax : 1. All facial muscles(there are 43 if you are interested) 2. Eyes closed and draw your eyeballs back into your head. 3. Relax limb by limb: hands, arms, legs, feet. Do not think of anything that involves movement or tasks for the next day. Concentrate on something that is one colour and featureless e.g. a blue cloudless sky. It does seem to work but it could just be thinking about all those facial muscles….!
Discussion and Analysis by Humphrey Percy, Chairman and Founder