Star comment: Economic recovery must be treated with extreme care

The UK economy looks set to bounce back more strongly than previously considered.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak must be very careful with the UK's economic recovery
Chancellor Rishi Sunak must be very careful with the UK's economic recovery

Economic forecasts are being upgraded as the recovery is on course to be quicker than experts previously imagined. It is a welcome dose of good news after a calamitous year in which vast numbers of businesses have collapsed, unemployment has run rampant and the national debt has ballooned to become the same size as the national economy.

It is wonderful news that our prospects are good, though we must reflect on the fact that we come to this from the worst place imaginable.

House prices continue to soar, which boosts the figures considerably though which also presents insurmountable problems for those who simply cannot afford to get on the housing ladder.

Owning a house used to be the desire of most people in society, though these days it is an unreachable aspiration for a great many. Trade in restaurants and pubs is rocketing as pent-up demand is released and as warm weather encourages people to go out and let their hair down.

Manufacturing is up and the nation’s record on entrepreneurship remains robust as people take the plunge to set up small and medium-sized businesses.

It is good news and gives us hope that we can bounce back from the pandemic. We should strike a note of caution, however, particularly on house prices. Rising house prices normally lead to a bump in the road in which prices correct themselves and fall at a later date. For all the talk of curing ourselves of the boom-and-bust economy, we appear not to have done so. Add to that the fact that interest rates will eventually rise and we can see that those with mortgages will eventually come under pressure.

We must be careful to learn from previous mistakes and also be concerned for those at the bottom of the housing ladder who are struggling to find a deposit or pay sky-high rents.

The nation’s economy and the nation’s housing market will need very careful management from Rishi Sunak and his allies in the months and years ahead.

The insight that an author’s letter from Roald Dahl provides is heart-warming.

The man who inspired legions of young children to learn to read by sharing stories that are rich in imagination has revealed his motivation.

The world-leading writer wanted to enthral children, most of all. He wanted to take them on an adventure by sharing brilliantly-written volumes of drama and excitement.

Roald Dahl’s influence continues to extend across the generations; providing comfort to those who grew up on his books as well as encouraging a new generation of young readers to discover the joys of writing.

He remains as good an advert as any for children to put down their smartphones and pick up a book. Dahl paved the way for his modern-day successor, David Walliams, who has enjoyed a similar run of success with stories of intrigue, wit and daring.

Reading is one of the greatest gifts that we can give to children, helping to foster imagination, develop an interest in the written word and become more accomplished academically. It is heartening to know that Dahl’s motivations were pure.

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