Following the publication of the British Chambers of Commerce Quarterly Economic Survey results the Mid Yorkshire Chamber have published the survey figures for the region. In both cases the picture is disappointing, and displays clear signs that growth is weakening, and that businesses are under real pressure.
The Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce, and the British Chambers of Commerce have released the results of their Quarterly Economic Surveys. The key findings are as follows:
Overall the figures both nationally and in the Mid Yorkshire region were disappointing. It is clear that the recovery will be bumpy and there are some real concerns of stagnation. While BCC figures show that businesses remain in positive territory, growth is weakening and businesses are still facing significant cashflow difficulties. With companies also reporting lower employment rates than last quarter, and reduced investment in plant machinery, it is evident that a lack of confidence in future prospects is limiting growth.
Our findings illustrate the ongoing difficulties faced by companies, both in the Mid Yorkshire region, and across the UK, and produce a picture of a bumpy, problematic recovery. This is particularly evident in sales and order book figures, which have failed to produce a consistent upwards trend across the last 3 years. The overall picture is indicative of the global economic situation, a bumpy recovery with little in terms of certainty regarding the longer term economic prospects. Improvements in domestic sales and orders will be encouraging however it is clear that the regulatory environment, and concerns among producers around raw material prices and inflation are limiting growth in our region.
The Government announced further quantitative easing last week, however it is clear that additional measures are required in order to restore confidence among businesses, deliver greater access to finance, and encourage firms to invest in staff and expansion.
Commenting on the results, John Longworth, Director General of the BCC, said:
“The results of our latest survey are concerning, but not entirely surprising. Many of the balances are in positive territory, but they are not as strong as we'd like to see. The survey shows the real risks facing the economy and the need for the government to act now in putting business growth at the heart of all its policies. For example, cashflow remains a real concern for businesses, indicating they are under financial pressures. Many businesses are faced with unfavourable payment terms and a lack of access to capital.”
Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce Head of Policy Steven Leigh commented:
“The Mid Yorkshire Chamber has consistently lobbied for positive intervention, and we reiterate the calls we made in our Q1 and Q2 QES analyses for more to be done for exporters in the form of additional support with Trade Guarantees and Credit Insurance, for manufacturers with greater tax incentives for R & D and investments in plant and machinery and advanced manufacturing systems, with the acceleration of important infrastructure construction projects to benefit the wider economy, with insistence that finance is made available to SME’s – particularly in light of the extra £75bn being released under the QE programme, and further initiatives to encourage businesses to expand rather than contract (the tax on jobs via increased Employers NHI contributions doesn’t make any sense in the present economic environment, and should be reversed).The Government has some difficult policy choices to make, and urgent and significant measures must be introduced, with economic growth at the heart of decision making, if there is to be a meaningful resumption of the recovery.”
Samuel Lewis, Policy Correspondent at the Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce