Quarterly Economic Survey Results
Published 2nd Jul 2013 by Samuel Lewis
Mixed results indicate growing uncertainty among Mid Yorkshire businesses
Mixed results in this Quarter 2 survey indicate that, while UK Sales and Export Sales and Orders continue to grow, underlying confidence has weakened since the start of the year. Employment figures are similarly mixed, with falling rates of employment growth counterbalanced by a significant rise in Employment Expectations for the next year. Investment has declined across all measures, with Cashflow in particular falling away this quarter. However, the Price Pressures felt by businesses have also declined and businesses are feeling more upbeat about Raw Material Prices and Pay Settlements.
The inconsistency of these figures is telling and illustrates the uncertainty felt by many in the business community over our wider economic performance. Consistency from Government will be key to providing a stable and assured economic and policy environment for UK businesses.
Chamber Head of Policy Steven Leigh commented:
Having seen very mixed results, quarter by quarter, over the last several years, we consider it would be hasty to make any major assumptions regarding these results. Certainly we have not achieved the momentum we had all hoped for, and we are not yet witnessing economic growth at the sort of levels which will be necessary if we are to drive a sustainable recovery. But there are some positives among these results and it would therefore be unproductive to prematurely read trends into single quarter figures.
Although the upswing in confidence seen earlier this year has not been maintained, it is nevertheless positive that both Profitability and Turnover Expectations remain above 2011 levels. It is to be hoped that the falls in confidence and investment are blips, representing the uncertainty felt by businesses, rather than any material change in conditions. Clearly, they are not borne out in actual economic performance - with Export Sales in particular showing growth this quarter.
Key headlines from the Quarterly Economic Survey Quarter 2 2013:
- Home and Export Sales Continue to Improve
- Boost to Employment Expectations
- Fall in Investment Causes Concern
- Business Confidence Stalls in Second Quarter