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Confidence outperforms national benchmarks for sales and profitability

The latest Quarterly Economic Survey of Chamber members by Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce reveals that 69% of respondents expect to see their turnover increase, compared to 44% nationally and 55% in the region. 

Also, 61% anticipate to see their profits rise which, the Chamber says, shows that Bedfordshire continues to outperform the wider economy.

Bedfordshire businesses have also seen UK sales and advanced orders increase over the past three months and posted the highest results in 2015.

Quarter 4 2015 showed 51% of respondents reporting an increase in UK sales activity, 46% remained constant and only 3% saying sales had dropped in this period.

Dampened export sales expectations among respondents in Q3 was reflected in actual performance in Q4, with only 31% of businesses showing an increase in sales – the lowest results in 2015. 

Exporting prospects for the next quarter seem to have returned to previous activity levels in Q4. Hppefully Bedfordshire exporters will continue to show growth in this area, said a Chamber spokesman.

Although the key balances remained positive in Q4 2015, pointing to continued growth, they confirm that the UK economy is still facing challenges.

Business investment in people, equipment and training remains healthy and there was a bounce back for the service sector cash flows but this seems to have been replaced with cash flow concerns in the manufacturing industry.

Domestic sales continue on an upward trend, making positive gains in 2015 and although export sales have been flat due to nervousness around global uncertainty, firm’s forward order book seems positive heading into 2016. 

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