You only have to listen in to a conversation between construction workers outside a pub at 3.30pm on any weekday to know what is going on in their world, and to give you a clue about the recovery of our economy.
"I don't know, Jeremy, it is dashed difficult to get hold of bricks and two-by-four these days."
"Tell me about it, Tristrum; I could get neither plasterboard nor Celotex yesterday. It quite drove me mad. (Just a half, please, I have a tax return to fill in.)"
Following the easing of Government restrictions the funnels of business have been smokin', but they have slowed recently due to blockages in supply chains that make Suez look like an ocean. There are no obstructions stopping the flow of ink to CBI nibs when penning their industrial trends survey, and they reported a net balance of -14 per cent of businesses had adequate levels of stock in the three months to August. This was down from -11 per cent in July and the worst reading since records began in 1977, when it was the hottest, wettest, most windy, humid and slowest since that other time.
Despite this, global dividends are expected to return to pre-pandemic levels in the next 12 months after recovering sharply in the second quarter. Payouts to shareholders jumped by 26.3 per cent to $471.7 billion in the three months to June, compared with a year previously, according to the Janus Henderson Global Dividend Index.
As the creaking door on the economic recovery slowly opens to reveal a crack of light and a new winner on Love Island, dividends from companies restarting payments totalled $33.3 billion, according to the Index, contributing three quarters of the underlying growth during the second quarter. On an underlying basis, accounting for large special dividends and currency fluctuations, the dividend growth was 11.2 per cent, still ahead of the firm’s expectations.
In short, we are making as much stuff as is possible, given the circumstances, and sharing the love when we can. The sun is out and Neil has just brought Magnums (or is that 'Magna'?) into the office, so make up your own witty ending to this article ...