Local confidence grows among businesses as national outlook remains bleak

Jan 09, 2012

 

In total, 69% of local businesses are optimistic about their prospects for the next 12 months, up from 60% six months ago.
 
Many are also planning to increase their workforce over the next six months. More than a third (36%) planning to recruit compared to 26% six months ago.  However, 26% expect their workforce to decrease in the first six months of 2012, which is also down on the 36% recorded earlier in the year.
 
Double dip recession, competition and cost issues remain the biggest threats to local businesses, with the prospect of a double dip recession becoming an increasing issue for 85% of respondents, compared to 78% six months ago.
 
Peter Selvey, KPMG’s senior partner in Milton Keynes, said: “Against another year of economic turbulence, it is encouraging to see that our local business community is feeling confident about their prospects and the shape that their businesses are in. Issues such as a good transport network, quality of life and access to a wide range of advisors were all regarded as positive aspects of doing business here, which is why businesses ranked Milton Keynes as a good place to do business.
 
“However, our local community is not immune from the ongoing uncertainty in the Eurozone and weak demand and growth at home could have an impact this year if measures announced by the Chancellor in November do not start to help the economy to grow.”
 
Other findings from the survey included:
  • 80% of businesses would rate MK a good or very good place to do business (up from 73%);
  • Access to influencers and key policy makers was the most negative aspect, followed by the availability of local and further education opportunities – as last time;
  • 92% of businesses will be focusing on their existing businesses in the next 12 months;
  • 72% (up from 54%) expect their turnover to increase in the next 6 months, while 18% expect it to decrease;
  • 8% have revised their capital investment plans downwards, whilst 77% plan to keep them unchanged;
  • 62% expect profitability to improve in the next 12 months, but 21% expect it to get worse and 17% think it will remain unchanged.
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