Welcome to the Quarterly Economic Report for Q2 of 2021

Despite ongoing challenges and disruption, the results of the quarter two survey are promising, as we continue to emerge from restrictions, and show that employment and investment intentions are on the rise. This quarter also saw the election of West Yorkshire’s first ever Metro Mayor in Tracy Brabin.

We look forward to working with Ms Brabin to address the key issues being experienced by our members, including skills gaps, transport, infrastructure, local planning and development.

This is an incredible opportunity for businesses in West Yorkshire to truly be represented on a national scale, and for our business community to be recognised and rewarded for the amazing work it is delivering.

Broadly speaking, investment intentions, employment intentions and overall business confidence are rising. This is a positive sign, and I am hopeful that we can make a strong recovery from the events of the last 18 months.

However, hospitality, events, travel and many more industries are still having to work tirelessly to keep their businesses afloat and continue trading, with many still facing major disruption, confusion and stress. UK manufacturers have also experienced increased pressures over the last quarter, caused partly by massive rises in haulage costs and shortages in sourcing components, raw materials and construction products.

We must not forget the sectors that are still facing challenges, especially as more and more are able to reopen and return to ‘business as usual’. There is still much more to be done and we hope that in quarter three and beyond, our businesses can continue to recover and flourish.

I would like to thank everybody who took part in the latest Quarterly Economic Survey. Your input is invaluable as we seek to analyse the issues being faced by businesses in the mid Yorkshire region, and take positive action to solve them.

As ever, we value your thoughts and encourage you to contact our team with any queries or feedback. Email

(Martin Hathaway, Managing Director)

Executive Summary - Q2 2021

DOMESTIC SALES - With the easing of restriction and unlocking of the economy Q2 saw a huge rebound for domestic sales and orders. Months of pent up demand hit the market all at once with manufacturing, construction along with B2B and B2C services firms all reporting sales increases.

EXPORT SALES - International sales and orders showed some improvements in the last quarter as global demand rises. Challenges remain in relation to EU trade as companies adjust to new procedures. Global supply chains are still facing significant disruption down in large part to Covid, but more recently, delays getting through the Suez Ship Canal are still reverberating.

EMPLOYMENT - The number of firms looking to increase headcount grew strongly in the last quarter a trend which looks set to continue as the economy moves towards the next phase in reopening. All sectors reported challenges recruiting in the last quarter with leisure and hospitality facing specific issues most likely related to people having moved industries as staff were furloughed in 2020.

INVESTMENT - With many firms holding off or delaying investment activities in 2020 we are now beginning to see plans being dusted off as companies look to move back towards productive growth. Capital investment net balance rose back to its long term average for manufacturing and services. The number of firms planning to increase investment in training also rose back to levels last seen before the Covid pandemic.

BUSINESS CONFIDENCE - Expectations of increasing turnover and profits both rose significantly in the last quarter as market demand and activities delayed during 2020 start to open up. As with other measure there are some sectoral variations but importantly all are in positive territory. The difference between the same period in 2020 is stark and shows the impact on business confidence, especially for those sectors most impacted by lockdowns.

Read the latest QES Q2 report online

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The Quarterly Economic Survey is a regular snapshot of key information, such as local business activity, confidence and issues, which policy makers and government ministers use to inform their decisions and thinking. We incorporate statistics, based on data contributed by members, on sales, orders, export, employment and the impact of economic factors such as inflation and exchange rates to provide ministers with an accurate and up to date analysis of business in the Mid Yorkshire region.


If you want to see change and influence policy on the business issues that are important to your business then you need to ensure that you are feeding the information into the system. Participating in the QES is an effective strategy to have your voice heard by those who can do something about the business issues you care about.


Every quarter, we encourage Chamber members to participate in the online survey. All responses are anonymous so you can speak freely (if you wish to speak openly and directly to policy makers you should consider attending our Area Council Meetings). We analyse this data to create the QES report which is then sent to key government departments and financial institutions such as The Treasury and The Bank of England. The QES Report is also a very useful resource to inform your own business. To have your say please compete the survey here.

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The Mid Yorkshire Chamber and British Chambers of Commerce not only have the ears of policy makers but actively lobby government and demand a response. We regularly speak out through the media, both locally and nationally, on these issues because we are the voice of the British business community.


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