DOUBLE-DIP recession, early summer sales and retailers suffering, news remains gloomy in the UK.
But in sunny Las Vegas where I just spent a week's holiday, things couldn't be more different.
While America is in the grip of recession too, it barely seems to have touched Las Vegas's famous strip.
You can't move for the tourists ambling along in 114 degree temperatures, looking for their next all-you-can-eat buffet, yard-tall margarita or novelty T-shirt.
And once inside the famous casinos, people don't seem to be able to get rid of their cash fast enough.
From women in flip flops shoving dollar bills into slot machines, to ageing, cigar-smoking men gambling handfuls of chips on blackjack, there seems to be no shortage of cash.
And nobody seems to flinch when they win either, but just feed it all back into the flashing machine or place it back on the table – in comparison my friends and I took celebratory pictures having won $30.
The Strip – the famous four mile-long road at the centre of the city where the mega-hotel/casinos sit – is buzzing, and while experts over there say the time of whipping up new buildings overnight is over, things to my credit-crunch weary eyes seemed to be booming.
The new CityCenter development, made up of six separate blocks of hotels and plush apartments opened three years ago and was the largest privately funded construction project in the USA, costing $8.5billion.
Meanwhile, here in Glasgow, plans for Glasgow's six-star hotel on Argyle Street were dashed by the recession.
Going for a night out in Vegas is very different to going out in Glasgow.
Clubs use the system you might have seen in reality TV shows such as The Hills. If you want to sit down, you have to pay.
Groups – mostly men – buy a table by opting to spend a typical minimum of about £300 on a bottle of vodka.
Bouncers tap women on the shoulder to invite them to sit with the group. (It happened to us once, as we became the trophy girls of a bunch of Brazilian boys in town for a wrestling match until, bored by the language barrier, we popped to the bathroom and made our escape.)
Can you imagine The Shed or even The Corinthian Club charging for a seat?
But all is not as it seems – the city has the highest foreclosure, or repossession rate in the USA, and experts say the Strip is merely "treading water" when it comes to bank balances.
Still, all in all, it remains a different world.