Cover of MoneyWeek magazine issue no 473

Defying gravity

12 February 2010 / Issue 473

Why British house prices are heading for a fall...

PLUS:

  • Why it's a good time to buy Toyota
  • The best dividends in the energy business
  • Money, happiness and the King of Chavs

Excerpt

Snap up Toyota

This week’s inflation report saw Mervyn King suggesting there could be more quantitative easing (QE) on the way, and fretting about inflation falling below 2% for several years, as the strength of the recovery remains “highly uncertain”.

We’d say less uncertain than positively awful. This week has seen a torrent of bad news on everything from real wages (falling even for graduates) to retail sales (which saw their worst growth for 15 years). And it’s starting to dawn on everyone that if the best the UK can manage even with endless bank bail-outs, QE, and cash for clunkers, is GDP growth of a statistically irrelevant 0.1%, then things really aren’t good.

Meanwhile, stockmarkets are (as they should be, given all this uncertainty) miserable. Pretty much the only bright spot the optimists can point to is the fact that house prices are still rising in Britain.

Finally, a word on Toyota. Clearly, the massive recalls of around 8.5 million of their cars, notably 300,000 of their celebrity-adored Prius models, has been horrible news for the brand and for the business. But is it really as terminal as the mainstream media seems to think?

• Read the full editor’s letter here: Snap up Toyota