The Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce’s first Quarterly Economic Survey of 2018, which was conducted in conjunction with Warwickshire County Council, showed that manufacturers are buoyant about future turnover and profitability.
When surveyed, they scored 83.8 on the business confidence chart. A score of 50 would indicate a balance between a positive and negative outlook for the region.
That was up from a score of 80.0 in the final quarter of 2017 and was due, in part, to stronger overseas orders.
The service sector saw a slight dip – down from 78.0 in the last quarter in 2017 to 77.6 in the first three months of this year – but this still shows high levels of confidence among businesses in that field.
More than 400 companies responded to the survey and Louise Bennett, chief executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said it was a strong barometer for the regional economy.
She said: “The QES is a great measure of how companies are feeling heading into the next 12 months.
“We hear from lots of businesses individually and this survey is a great way of collating all of that sentiment and gives us a great indicator of how firms expect to fare in the next year.
“It is clear that there is great confidence among our manufacturers and that bears out what we hear anecdotally.
“In fact, one of the issues we have is finding the space for companies across the patch who want to grow and take on more people.
“Overseas orders have risen and that would suggest that some manufacturers are starting to see some benefit from the fall in Sterling when trading abroad.
“The service sector is slightly less upbeat than it was at the end of 2017 – but those figures were very high and have only dipped slightly so are no cause for concern at this stage.
“On the whole, there is a confident picture in Coventry and Warwickshire which bodes well for the future.”
Dave Ayton-Hill, economy & skills group manager at Warwickshire County Council, added: “While the overall Economic Outlook Index has fallen slightly on the previous quarter, these remain significantly higher than regional and national averages.
“The manufacturing sector is particularly buoyant, driven by improvements in overseas markets.
“The picture for the services sector is slightly more reserved but, overall, business confidence remains very high and the strong readings relative to the national figures paint a picture of good local economic growth in 2018.”
Source: BQ Business Website