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MOT Models has always been a bellwether of the national economy. By studying the number of enquiries, the type of enquiry and the castings and bookings, it is possible to extrapolate the results of this analysis to give a good picture of the state of the fully economy of the country. Our reasoning for this guidance is that we have a very large and broad spread of clients which tends to smooth any eccentricities in the forecast exerted by any one particular client sector. Creative advertising tends to be an extremely good indicator of the state of the economy but is always the first to falter and the first to recover.

This information has been provided to “friends” of the business including architects, care home organisations and even our bankers over many years but recently it has become more formalised and published on an occasional basis. Our record is that we are “right” in excess of 90% of the time. This edition represents the update as at 5th February 2015.

Predicting economic trends through the recession proved to be difficult as there were a number of false dawns and dusks. In early July 2014 we had experienced 3 months of distinct slow-down in business activity with our expectation that by year end the rate of GDP growth would have slowed to between 1.5 and 2%. The consensus at the time was that we were in a period of massive growth. In the event the last 2 quarters of 2014 saw GDP growth of 0.7% and 0.5% so what we detected was correct even if the magnitude of the slowing was less than expected but was nevertheless clearly spotted by our technique. The BBC story is at .

Almost before the proverbial ink was dry on the July report, MOT Models saw an up-turn in business fortune that continued through to December. December always has a seasonal down-turn in activity so it was as expected.

In the event 2014 was the best year (bookings value) that the agency has experienced since 2008 showing growth of 8% over 2013. In July, it was expected that the business would be almost flat. Compared with the erratic behaviour of previous years, it was considerable more steady.

To pick up on the key indicators at the moment:

1. Enquiries in Q1 2015 to date are 17% higher than in 2014
2. There are far more higher value enquiries than in any period since 2008
3. Castings for January were down by 18% compared with January 2014 but were worth 7% more
4. Average booking values are also firming showing a small increase since the same periods in 2013/14 but there is a steadiness in business levels month-by-month
5. The growth in Zone division in 2014 was even more marked than in the mainstream business with bookings growth of 32%

Zone is the younger funkier division of the agency and this accounted for almost all growth in 2014. This is a typical indicator of a much more buoyant economy as the models that Zone represents are a much younger, more aspirational model. Once this has established itself, recovery would then follow in the more commercial divisions and we have been seeing this since July 2014 continuing into 2015. All of the indicators are very positive.

It all looks very good but there are several clouds on the horizon. The situation in the Ukraine appears to be escalating rather than diminishing; the EU crisis appears to be resurrecting with the general election results in Greece and further elections to follow in Spain; the Middle East is total unpredictable. Any of these could cause a loss of the business confidence temporarily buoyed by the up-coming UK election. In other words the year as a whole is unpredictable but in the short-term, we expect GDP growth to be close to 3%.

Call Mike Illes on 01442 863918 for further information or email him on

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