Click to contact us or call 02476 353537

Plan Now To Make The Most Of Economic Recovery


As the Bank of England keeps interest rates at 0.5% for the ninth month running, farmers are being urged to ensure their businesses are in a position to respond to any upturn in the economy.

Recent Government figures show the UK economy shrank by 0.4% in the third quarter of the year, but I think well look back on the second half of 2009 as the time when the economy turned a corner and began to recover, says Patrick Foley, chief economist, Lloyds Banking Group. However, he warns that the threat of unemployment and the prospect of reduced Government spending will mean recovery will be slow and at times painful.

We predict that the UK economy will grow by 1.8% in 2009 as orders for British goods pick up. That might lead to an increase in the Bank of England base rate of 0.25% by the middle of next year.

Mr Foley also predicts that the pound will remain weak through 2010 giving a boost to exporters including farmers, particularly as other economies around the world recover faster than the UK.

Gareth Oakley, Agriculture Director for Lloyds TSB Agriculture, believes the fact that food sales have held up in the recession presents future opportunities for the industry.

Well thought out and fully costed plans, together with the financial discipline that has served farmers so well during difficult times will be a key element of future success, he says. Any planned investment should have the objective of improved business efficiency, whatever the farming sector.

Mr Oakley urges farmers to use the final few months of the year to give their businesses a financial health check and consider what their financial objectives will be for 2010.

Now is a good time to sit down with your bank manager and other professional advisers and discuss the best way forward for the business, he says.

For example, low interest rates could provide an ideal opportunity to restructure debts and plan future investments cost effectively. Meanwhile, the favourable currency position means it could be a good time to consider fixing the 2010 Single Farm Payment exchange rate. This could help manage the impact of volatility and make for more reliable budgeting.

  • Lloyds TSB Agriculture: Lloyds TSB Agriculture provide a personalised banking service to farmers and rural businesses delivered through a network of over 90 managers experienced in agriculture, based in 43 rural offices throughout the UK. In recent years Lloyds TSB Agriculture has seen strong growth in its acquisition of new customers – the rate of customers moving to Lloyds TSB Agriculture from other banks currently stands at around 750 farmers per year.
  • The Agricultural Mortgage Corporation PLC (AMC): AMC has been lending exclusively to the agricultural industry since 1928, and today has a ~30% share of the medium to long-term lending market in agriculture in the UK. As such, AMC is a market leader in the provision of medium and long term secured loans to the UK farming industry and aims to be the lender of choice on the basis of competitive terms and quality of service. AMC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Lloyds TSB Bank plc

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * great opportunity to promote your business to our dedicated readership of farmers, landowners, estate managers and associated agricultural professionals.
Contact us today on 02476 353537 and let's work together to drive your business forward.