Depression Not All Bad News for Londoners

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September 28, 1933

Photograph: A London woman tunes into her radio, to hear the latest BBC news broadcast.

Whilst homelessness and unemployment rates rise in the northern UK, new industries are proving a success in London and south east Britain.

A survey has found that living standards have on the whole improved in London since the beginning of the depression. In 1930, about ten per cent of the city were living at subsistence level, meaning they are only able to afford enough to stay alive. This figure has significantly fallen to four per cent over the past four years.

This is also related to Britain leaving the Gold Standard last year, which resulted in a decrease in the value of the Pound, increasing exports and lowering interest rates which has led to higher consumer sentiment for those with a job.

Although unemployment rates in London are still considerably high at thirteen percent, they are predicted to fall over the coming years. Technology developed during the Great War is being made increasingly available to the middle class residents of London, and as a result, businesses making these new products are booming.

Devices such as the radio and the washing machine, which are both powered by electricity are very popular, and relatively inexpensive due to falling prices. It is estimated that half of all British households own a radio, and a new network has been created, named the British Broadcasting Corporation or the BBC. The automobile industry is also successful, with more cars on the London roads than ever before, and now there is even a driving test to ensure that no hooligans are causing havoc on the road.

As well as being able to afford luxury electrical appliances, interest rates have fallen meaning that buying a house is an option for more and more people. For those who are employed, there has never been a better time to live in London, especially considering the state of the rest of the western world.

Sources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Depression_in_the_United_Kingdom

http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/history/mwh/britain/depressionrev1.shtml

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