Results Reveal Confident Outlook: First Quartely Economic Survey

Companies across Coventry and Warwickshire have delivered a confident outlook – despite international uncertainty.

The Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with Warwickshire County Council, have conducted the first Quarterly Economic Survey (QES) of 2017 and optimism in the area is stronger than it was at the end of 2016.

The QES results are now based on an Economic Outlook Index and will show whether respondents feel things are getting better or worse – with a score of 50 suggesting firms feel circumstances will stay exactly the same.

Overseas orders across the region are showing particular strength – with manufacturing and service sector companies reporting growth. In manufacturing, the Index stood at 67.5 – up more than 10 points compared to the turn of the year.

Services showed a more modest increase but the Index stands at 67.6, with the lower pound being credited as the main reason for exporters from the region seeing an increase in orders.

Domestically, the figures were not quite as strong in manufacturing with the Index showing at 61.3 – still up on the previous quarter – and in services it was at 67.6 which was higher than three months ago.

In terms of overall business confidence, both manufacturing (76.0) and services (78.9) are showing a very healthy outlook with turnover being forecast to rise.

In terms of increased employment, investment and cashflow, the Index is still positive in both sectors but there were slight dips in manufacturing compared to the previous quarter.

Louise Bennett, chief executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said companies across the patch were confident about the year ahead.

She said: “After the Brexit vote, there was a bit of a wobble in confidence but over the past few months, we are seeing companies look ahead with optimism.

“They are alert to the fact that there is uncertainty but with the outcome impossible to forecast and everything else is going on in the world, they are looking at their own businesses and their own plans for the future and they feel confident.

“We are delighted to be working with Warwickshire County Council in producing the QES and the new Economic Outlook Index makes it very easy to measure against sentiment on previous quarters.

“On nearly every indicator, manufacturers and service sector companies feel they are in a better place than three months ago, which bodes well.”

Dave Ayton-Hill, head of economy & skills at Warwickshire County Council, will present the findings alongside Louise Bennett at the Coventry and Warwickshire Outlook Breakfast at Mallory Court on Tuesday, April 25 from 8am.

Speakers will also include Sean Farnell, board member of CWLEP and partner at Burgis & Bullock, and Barrie Kilfeather, regional director of Santander.

For more information or to book onto that event log onto http://www.cw-chamber.co.uk/events/the-coventry-warwickshire-business-outlook-breakfast/

For more information on the QES or the Chamber’s policy work, email martynem@cw-chamber.co.uk