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Staff churn hits business hopes, says new research

The latest Business Confidence Monitor produced by accountancy body the ICAEW says that the mood among employers has been improving in recent quarters but remains in negative territory in Q1 2018.

At -2.5, it is still lower than the same time last year (-0.5).

This is due to more than a fifth (22%) of businesses admitting that staff turnover was a bigger concern than 12 months ago, a number up from 14% last year.

Staff development budgets have increased, however, by 0.6% on Q1 2017. Input prices are up by 3% in the past year but growth in sales both at home and overseas has remained relatively unchanged.

Domestic sales are forecast to grow by 4.4% but exports are set to slow as the year progresses.

ICAEW regional director Harpreet Panesar said staff turnover was due in part to the record low 3% unemployment rate in the South East, the lowest in the UK.

She added: “It is also becoming increasingly difficult to attract workers with the uncertainty of the implications of Brexit.

“Hopefully, businesses will look past the current political and economic climate and continue to invest in staff development as this will help with staff turnover figures and overall employee productivity.”

Stay confident and keep investing, says director

CONFIDENCE in the East of England, however, is on the rise having soared from 0.7 in the last quarter of 2017 and -17.9 this time last year to a +2.5 figure.

Export sales are up by 4.6% year on year and domestic growth, although slower, is at 3.6%.

The number of companies operating at capacity has risen by 10%.
Ms Panesar said: “It is promising that business confidence in the East of England remains on an upward trend. 

“Businesses in the East of England need to remain confident in the inevitable turbulent political and economic times. Britain’s forthcoming EU withdrawal will no doubt put further strains on businesses but hopefully if businesses continue investing, the upward trends will continue.”

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