It has been an eventful month (yet again) on the UK economic front.

The cost of living crisis and the surge in interest rates have never seemed very far from the headlines.

And we have had party conference season too.

The leadership of both the Conservatives and Labour appeared keen to paint a picture that they were just what was needed on the UK economic front in these most difficult of times, at the parties’ conferences in October.

The economic track record of the Conservatives since 2010 suggests this may not be the case, and growth-orientated policies from the Tories remain conspicuous by their absence.

And, as observed in my regular column in The Herald, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves seemed to fall short of a courageous vision to address the UK’s economic woes. Crucially, they continue to eschew the one thing that would in short order make a big positive difference to the UK: rejoining the European single market and customs union.

The column observed: “The speeches from Sir Keir and Ms Reeves just generally seemed to lack the extent of distinction, in terms of economic policies, that you might have expected from Labour after a long period of rule by the Tories, particularly given the right-wing nature of the current vintage of Conservatives and their dismal performance.

“Labour also seems lamentably keen to embrace the British nationalism that was harnessed to deliver Brexit. This all adds to the impression of a lack of clear blue water between Labour and the Tories.”

Brexit, not surprisingly given its continuing major detrimental effects, has also never been far from the headlines in recent weeks.

As I observed in another of my columns, it was fascinating to watch arch-Brexiters, including former Scotch Whisky Association chief executive Lord David Frost, spurn German finance minister Christian Lindner’s extension of an invitation for an intensification of the UK’s trade relationship with the European Union.

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This column observed that, as the bill for the UK’s hard Brexit becomes ever greater, the arch-Leavers’ appetite for economic destruction seems also to be growing, with these individuals appearing at pains to prevent anything being done that might mitigate the damage from their folly.

There has thankfully, amid the general UK economic woe which includes an inflation rate that is the highest among the Group of Seven leading industrialised nations, been enough good news at individual company and sector level from which to take some heart.

The strength of the overseas travel sector in the UK, particularly given the general pressure on household budgets, is notable. It is also crucial to enabling Scotland to build its air connectivity again. This connectivity was hammered amid the coronavirus pandemic, and its rebuilding is vital to the economy north of the Border.

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Heading through summer and into autumn in the grip of the UK’s economic malaise, it has been most heartening to see continued strong trading for package holiday companies and airlines, as another of my columns observed.

This column also highlighted the raft of new route announcements from Scottish airports, as well as future commitments from airlines on existing services and on occasion an enhancement of these in terms of frequency, capacity or operating months.

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There has been a steady stream of good news from Scotland’s largest airports, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

And Jet2, TUI and easyJet have been among those to have highlighted the continuing strength of demand for overseas travel.

The strength of this sector has contrasted starkly with the housebuilding industry, which is being hampered significantly by the surge in UK base rates from a record low of 0.1% in December 2021 to 5.25% as well as the general cost of living crisis.

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Scottish housebuilder Springfield Properties in late September flagged the impact of high interest rates, mortgage affordability issues and reduced confidence among the house-buying public on its business, adding that its board did not expect the situation to improve materially before next spring.

And there were fairly downbeat updates in October from Barratt Developments, the UK’s largest housebuilder, and from sector stablemate Bellway.

My column on overseas travel concluded: “The UK macroeconomic headwinds show no sign of abating.

“However, the overseas travel sector retains what has been a most impressive momentum since we started emerging from the utter grimness of the coronavirus pandemic. Long may this strength continue, for the sake of the economy, employment, connectivity and of course the millions of people whose love of travel has only been intensified by the protracted period in which going abroad was difficult and at times impossible.”

In these difficult times, it is more important than ever to flag reasons for cheer, while never sugar-coating the economic backdrop.