Around half of respondents expect to see their turnover improve in the next year with both service firms and manufacturers predicting better times ahead, despite more sombre national growth forecasts.
Manufacturers also reported increases in both domestic and export sales during Quarter 3 although they raised concerns about competition, exchange rates and even steel tariffs during the period.
The services sector revealed a gloomier picture, reporting drops in both their domestic and export sales in Q3.
Northamptonshire Chamber chief executive Paul Griffiths said: “Despite a further downgrade in growth expectations for 2018 and 2019 from the British Chambers of Commerce, confidence in Northamptonshire continues to hold with around half of our QES respondents expecting their turnover to grow over the next 12 months.
“This optimism has been roughly continuous for the last year but has not yet translated into buoyant investment or employment expectations and is not borne out by the figures for domestic sales or exports.
“We’re also seeing stagnant investment in training, locally and nationally. With a labour market that continues to favour the employee, firms will need to consider raising their investment in their staff for retention or recruitment or potentially risk losing out.”
Northamptonshire Chamber’s Quarterly Economic Survey is part of the largest and most representative survey of its kind in the UK. It provides central and local policymakers with feedback of the performance, concerns and views of businesses across Northamptonshire.
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