News - 08 October 2013

Confidence up among firms in D2N2 area, survey shows

The local economy strengthened again in the third quarter of the year thanks to another strong business performance, according to new figures. 

Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Chamber of Commerce (DNCC) has released the findings of its latest Quarterly Economic Survey, which found that between July and September, businesses reported increased sales in the UK and export markets, along with fuller UK order books. Export orders in Derbyshire, however, were down slightly. 

The number of firms increasing the size of their workforce or attempting to recruit also went up. 

Crucially, there was a significant increase in firms’ confidence in both their profitability and turnover for the year ahead, with a significant number of businesses also revising their investment intentions upwards. 

And more firms reported that they are currently working at full capacity than at any point in the past six years. 

The Chamber uses the results of the survey to produce a State of the Economy index, which tracks a number of key business performance indicators each quarter. 

Q2 saw the index increase by 141 points to 215 and this growth continued in Q3, with the index increasing by a further 139 points to 354 – its highest level since the Chamber began measuring performance in September 2007.

Reflecting on the results, DNCC President Ian Greenaway said: “Local businesses have built on the encouraging progress made in Q2 by delivering another strong performance in Q3. 

“The signs have been there for a while. Nationally, fresh evidence is emerging all the time that the economy is strengthening, more jobs are being created and confidence within the private sector is growing. 

“This is being borne out locally, where more and more businesses are reporting increasing sales and fuller order books, and are now having to recruit more staff to cope with demand. 

“When Bank of England Governor Mark Carney visited Nottingham in August, he described the East Midlands as a ‘bellwether of the UK economy’ and he is exactly right. 

“Of course, all of this positivity does not mean we are out of the woods just yet and the Chamber would urge a little caution. 

“Although we’ve had two good quarters, businesses, politicians and consumers would be wrong to assume that the recovery is fully secured and the economy is back to full health. 

“There’s still a way to go. Undoubtedly, there will be a few more twists and turns to come but at the moment things are progressing well. 

“Both Government and the Bank of England must guard against complacency and make every effort to maintain progress and to prevent setbacks. 

“Further measures to boost growth are needed, with greater focus on ensuring that viable and growing firms are able to obtain adequate finance.”

Source: DNCC

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