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This week SMMT hosted the first 2013 meeting of its Commercial Vehicle Group – a sizable representation of a broad spectrum of our industry.

Following a presentation by our Chief Economist we had a fascinating debate on the condition of the UK economy and the potential for future growth.

The amount of cash in circulation and buoyant equity markets suggest positive growth but on the downside, continuing uncertainty in the eurozone, wavering consumer confidence and sticky inflation all point in the other direction. However, the single biggest concern is that consumers have made a behavioural leap into finally accepting that rising property prices are not (and may never again) going to underwrite an ever increasing standard of living. This results in buying decisions being based increasingly on cost, changing the nature of how companies engage with consumers – perhaps irreversibly.

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