Business confidence in Coventry and Warwickshire still above national average

Business confidence in Coventry and Warwickshire is higher than the national average but the overall outlook of companies for the next 12 months has dipped slightly, according to new data.

The Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, in conjunction with Warwickshire County Council, has published the results of its latest Quarterly Economic Survey (QES) of businesses in the region.

The survey, covering the third quarter of 2017, shows that overall business confidence fell by 1.7 points to 63.4, down from 65.1 in the previous quarter. But any score above 50 shows the majority of companies are feeling positive and, while slightly down, the latest figure remains higher than national and West Midlands-wide surveys.

The slight drop in confidence is coupled with small falls in domestic and overseas orders in both manufacturing and service sectors as well a small fall in recruitment expectations. However, all the indicators are still above the 50 mark which means the regional economy is forecast to continue growing, albeit at a slower rate than previously hoped.

Dave Ayton-Hill, who heads Warwickshire County Council’s Economy and Skills team, said: “Despite the slight fall in the overall economic outlook index, the strength of the Coventry and Warwickshire economy is still very much evident. The area continues to see good growth and demand for employment in the local area remains high with nearly every business surveyed looking to increase or maintain their current employment levels.

“We hope and expect this growth to continue into 2018, despite the current uncertainties that exist in the economy.”

Louise Bennett, chief executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “The region's economy remains healthy and we have some outstanding businesses here of all sizes and sectors that are performing extremely well.

“We know the barriers to growth on our patch include the availability of land and access to a strong, skilled labour market that can fill the jobs that are out there. But the outlook for businesses here is stronger than in the wider West Midlands and the rest of the UK, though we must also recognise that there has been a small dip in confidence.

“Is that surprising? Not really. While the region performs well it cannot be immune from the uncertainty that continues at a national level. The path to Brexit remains unclear and the conflicting noises around striking a deal are unhelpful.

“In light of that, it’s great to see that the overall business outlook in Coventry and Warwickshire remains on the positive side and that is testament to the companies based on our patch who continue to look for opportunities to grow."

* The Quarterly Economic Survey supplies vital information which shapes future strategy so the more people that participate in it the better. It takes around two minutes to complete and can be accessed here https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/ZY2Q9CP

The findings of the current survey will be presented on November 29th, 8-10:am at the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce Economic Outlook event at Stoneleigh Park. Please click here to sign up if you would like to attend.

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