Firms show strength in the face of uncertainty

Jan 05, 2020

BUSINESSES in Milton Keynes posted stable results in the face of economic and political uncertainty at the end of 2019.

Nationally, there was weak growth at the end of the year but the results from Milton Keynes Chamber of Commerce’s latest Quarterly Economic Survey showed during the same period businesses in the city were actively recruiting and remained confident about the future.

The findings for Quarter 4 of 2019, released on Thursday (January 2), also showed nearly 90% of Milton Keynes firms which responded to the survey saw their domestic sales and orders increase or remain constant.

However, businesses reported a slight drop in overseas activity and nearly 60% of those surveyed who tried to recruit in Quarter 4 said they struggled to find suitable staff.

Milton Keynes Chamber chief executive Paul Griffiths said: “The results of our latest QES shows the resilience and positive attitudes of the business community in Milton Keynes.

“Nationally, at the end of last year our economy experienced weak growth. Businesses experienced a drop in consumer demand and export sales and indicated they were less likely to invest in the coming months.

Paul Griffiths, chief executive of Milton Keynes and Northamptonshire Chambers of Commerce.

“During the same period businesses in Milton Keynes had stable results, actively recruited and business confidence in the area continued to be high.

“However, our findings did show that the country’s persistent economic uncertainty forced businesses in Milton Keynes to be hesitant with capital investment.

“Enterprise is the lifeblood of the UK economy and if dramatic change is not enacted businesses will halt investment in recruitment – to the detriment of growth.

“We will feed these conclusions to key local, regional and national policymakers and call on the government to recognise that businesses need support and encouragement in these turbulent times.”

Milton Keynes Chamber’s QES is part of the biggest and most representative survey of its kind in the UK. QES data is used by the Bank of England to inform interest rate decisions, by the Treasury to help formulate economic policy and by international finance institutions to assess the UK’s economy.

To read the full report visit www.chambermk.co.uk/representation/quarterly-economic-surveys  

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‘If dramatic change is not enacted, it’s likely businesses will halt investment in recruitment, to the detriment of growth’

NORTHAMPTONSHIRE’S businesses bucked the national trend by posting strong results at the end of last year in the face of political uncertainty.

Results from Northamptonshire Chamber of Commerce’s latest Quarterly Economic Survey show county businesses continued to yield stable and strong results.

The findings for Quarter 4 of 2019, released today (Thursday), show that respondents saw a slight increase in domestic activity, around half actively recruited during the period and more than 60 per cent were confident about the future.

However, Northamptonshire businesses experienced a drop in overseas demand for their goods and more than half of those surveyed who attempted to recruit during Quarter 4, experienced difficulties in attracting appropriate staff.   

St Giles Street, Northampton

Paul Griffiths, who is also chief executive of the Northamptonshire Chamber, said: “The latest QES goes to show the resilience and positive attitudes of our county’s business community.

“Weak growth, a decrease in consumer demand, export sales and investment intentions were being felt nationally at the end of last year but Northamptonshire’s businesses demonstrated stable and strong results during the quarter.

“Business confidence remained steady with firms continuing to adopt a positive outlook for the future and training investment also rose.

“However, if dramatic change is not enacted it is likely that businesses will halt investment in recruitment, to the detriment of growth.

“We will continue to feed our QES results to local, regional and national policymakers and urge the government to realise that all businesses are in need of support and encouragement at this time.”

To read the full report visit www.northants-chamber.co.uk/representation/quarterly-economic-surveys

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