There was much debate this week as to whether being a retailer provided sufficient qualification for predicting the future. Waitrose commercial director Richard Hodgson claimed he could not say whether food inflation had peaked or not, because he was a retailer rather than a speculator. However, in the other corner, Andy Bond declared himself an “amateur economist but a professional retailer” when confidently predicting that inflation had, in fact, peaked.

While much of the industry has lined up to predict further inflation on the way, Bond had to rely on sparring partner Sir Terry Leahy to back up his argument. Sir Terry was, however, careful to point out that while inflation may soon peak, a return to lower prices would not be on the cards any time soon.

That’s cleared that up then. It does seem there is light at the end of the tunnel – if you can refer to a global recession as ‘light’, that is. This week analysts at Merrill Lynch predicted oil prices could fall as low as $50 a barrel next year in the event of a continued global downturn.

So, as they say, every cloud...