Confidence survey gives recovery a boostJan 14, 2014
Confidence in the region has been on a general upward trend since Q3 2012 and now standing at +25.9, well above the reading of +6.7 this time last year.
Despite that, confidence still remains below the UK national average of +31.7.
The latest ICAEW/Grant Thornton UK Business Confidence Monitor says that this quarter, businesses in the East of England report an uptick in turnover growth of 4.9% over the past year, well up from 2.6% annual growth registered at the same time a year ago.
The current trend is expected to continue with turnover growth predicted to grow by 5.2% over the coming 12 months.
Companies have also seen sales volumes and gross profits grow by 4.2% and 4.3% respectively over the previous year. This strong performance is expected to continue over the next year with sales volumes increasing by 4.9% and gross profits by 3.8%.
Philippa Bourne, ICAEW regional director for East of England, said: “This quarter’s report shows that the UK economic recovery is well under way.
“If it continues at this rate, the UK economy will be one of the fastest growing economies in the western world in 2014.
“However we cannot be complacent and all of us need work hard to maintain the momentum built up this year while remaining alive to the threats to our recovery, especially those outside the UK.”
Annual export growth has been strengthening in the region during 2013. This quarter, companies report exports increasing year on year by 5.6%, following a general upward trend from just 1.7% in Q1 2013.
A further strong increase of 5% is predicted for the year ahead.
These expectations for future export growth are broadly in line with those for domestic sales, which are projected to rise by 4.9% over the coming year. This suggests an encouragingly balanced recovery, with demand from both domestic and overseas markets.
Paul Naylor, practice leader for Grant Thornton in Cambridge, said “These figures reflect a tangible upsurge in confidence that we have seen in the East of England and provide a very encouraging start to the new year.
“All efforts must now be focused on nurturing this growth to ensure the region, and the UK as a whole, maintains these positive recovery levels.”