Our quarter 4 Quarterly Economic Survey (QES) reports that a number of economic indicators have stabilised during this fourth quarter of the year.
Although this time we have seen a fairly mixed bag of results it is fair to say that the UK recovery is continuing, albeit at lower levels than we would like. There is no doubt that economic conditions throughout the world remain difficult, and our survey results throughout 2014 have been a reflection of the uncertainties which still abound for business as we enter the New Year.
Head of Policy and Representation Steven Leigh commented: "Home sales and orders have bounced-back somewhat during this fourth quarter of the year, and exporters have reported an arrest to the significantly reduced levels of activity which were reported in quarter 3.
"Not surprisingly, the most pressing concern for exporters - as reported this time - is Exchange Rates, with the continued strength of the Pound against the Euro and the US Dollar rendering our goods and services much less competitively priced in overseas markets.
"Whilst it is good to see that official ONS/ OBR figures confirm that the recovery continues in the UK, it should not be overlooked that a number of world issues, which will materially affect the prospects for business in 2015, have not gone away. In addition to exchange rates the depressed market demand in Europe and reduced levels of economic activity in other important world trading nations are having a big effect on global markets"
Key headlines from the Quarterly Economic Survey Quarter 4 2014:
At the Chamber we continue to lobby hard for our members, and for the wider business community in our region, for the best possible business conditions.