Leader: ‘Things are moving in the right direction’

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TRYING to spot genuine “green shoots” in the economy is a famously thankless task. There are many politicians who have discovered the hard way that economic forecasting is one of the easiest ways in a world to end up looking like a mug.

Nevertheless, it is possible to study trends affecting the city and get a pretty good idea of the direction in which we are heading.

The latest Edinburgh Economy Watch does make for very encouraging reading for everyone in the Capital.

Several key indicators suggest that while the city couldn’t be described as being in the middle of a boom, things are very much moving in the right direction.

Unemployment is down – below two per cent – and spending in city stores is up, bucking the Scottish and UK trend.

The number of people travelling in and out of Edinburgh Airport keeps on beating records, bringing good news for the city’s vital tourist industry and a sign of families having a wee bit more money to spend and businesses being on the move.

Visitor numbers in our hotels are up and more new businesses are being set up, bringing with them the hope new jobs will be created.

The banking crash, the tram works and the recession that affected the rest of Britain and beyond all took a heavy toll on Edinburgh.

But the city has proved remarkably resilient and the telltale sign of cranes on the horizon – signalling major building works under way – are starting to pepper the city skyline again.

Most of us are not yet seeing the benefit of these improvements yet.

There is still much that needs to be done.

The challenges facing the city have been well chronicled in this paper, from tackling the poverty in our midsts to the vast investment needed in our roads, schools and so on.

But signs of a thriving economy offering hope that progress could be made.