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YOUNG AT HEART: Starting the new year with a positive

Date: 22 January 2010

Tristan Young is Editor-in-chief of BusinessCar

After what was a hellish year in 2009, things are looking much brighter already for 2010.

Little more than a week into the new year and business is already looking up.

Two key indicators lead me to this conclusion. Firstly used car prices ended 2009 up a massive 35%, according to Manheim. A figure that was not expected 12 months ago when values were just about at rock-bottom.

The second important figure is the one for the new car sales. Business and fleet registrations may were down 20% in 2009 as a whole, but the December figure is only down 3%. While it's still not yet in positive territory, it shows business buyers are starting to return to the market and, perhaps, the number of contract extensions is starting to level out.

While it won't be a great year for all, there is some hope. And I'd like to echo ACFO's recommended approach to the year - don't lose sight of the cost control measures learnt in 2009, because they will see you right for 2010 and beyond.