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Robust confidence levels 'encouraging', says Chamber survey
Business confidence in Milton Keynes remains robust, according to the latest Quarterly Economic Survey report from Milton Keynes Chamber of Commerce.
The business barometer indicates increases in export activity during the first quarter of 2017. At home, 76% of services sector businesses reported that their UK sales had increased over the past three months or remained in line with the fourth quarter of 2016.
In total 41% of manufacturers said their UK sales had either increased or remained consistent with the previous quarter.
The services sector reported a 15% rise in export sales – this is its highest figure since Q1 2015 and also represents its second consecutive quarter of increases in export sales. In addition the sector recorded a 19% increase in export orders to 23% in Q1.
As a result of this activity 19% of services sector firms reported that their headcount had increased during the first three months of 2017 compared with the previous quarter.
Looking ahead 26% of service sector businesses and 14% of manufacturers expect to increase the size of their workforces during the next quarter.
The majority of firms in both sectors reported that their investment plans for plant/machinery had remained in line with the previous quarter.
Competition was the biggest cause for concern among Milton Keynes businesses , although 71% of manufacturers and 68% of service sector businesses revealed that their turnover had increased during the period.
Chamber chief executive Paul Griffiths said: “It is very encouraging that business confidence across Milton Keynes has remained robust during the first quarter of the year.
“It is reassuring to see that the services sector is experiencing a rise in its export activities and that both sectors predict their workforces will grow during the next quarter.”
A total of 38 businesses, employing 2,068 people from across Milton Keynes, took part in the review of the first quarter of the year.
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