Service firms flourish as Brexit fears continue to slow manufacturing

Jul 13, 2018

Its latest Quarterly Economic Survey reports increases in domestic sales and export sales, the size of workforce and investment in training compared with the first quarter of the year. 
In total 58% of service sector firms said they were confident their turnover would improve over the next 12 months – up by 2% on Quarter 1. However, only 30% of firms in the sector expected their workforce to grow in the next quarter – a reduction of 11%.
In contrast county manufacturers reported reductions in domestic sales, export sales, investment in training and only 47% were confident their turnover would increase in the next 12 months, compared with 63% in the previous quarter. 
On the plus side more manufacturers increased the size of their workforce during Quarter 2 and the percentage predicting their teams will grow further in Quarter 3 rose by 5% to 38%.
Northamptonshire Chamber of Commerce chief executive Paul Griffiths said: “The figures from manufacturers have not been as positive as those from the services sector in this quarter. It’s fair to say that manufacturers are probably feeling the brunt of the uncertainty surrounding Brexit.”

Looking ahead, the Chamber hopes to see more growth in Northamptonshire following the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee decision in June to keep rates on hold at 0.5% in a bid to support all businesses, he added. 

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