Latest survey is a ‘shot in the arm’ for economy says CEO
Manufacturing firms in Suffolk are ahead of the national trend as the Suffolk economy continues to show signs of growth the first substantial business survey of 2012 has shown.
Suffolk Chamber of Commerce has published its first Quarterly Economic Survey (QES) for this year which covered company performance in the first three months of 2012.
“The last twelve months have been challenging for local businesses,” said President of the Chamber of Commerce Dr Peter Funnell. “It is encouraging that we are now seeing a hesitant but welcome return to economic growth and there is an indication of more robust development and greater confidence amongst local firms” he said.
The survey covered company performance in the first three months of this year and showed the service sector beginning to pick up and manufacturers building further upon their good performance in the last quarter.
“We have talked a lot in recent months about a fragile economy and slow growth, but these results demonstrate the resilience of the county’s business community,” Dr Funnell added.
The survey was conducted in mid-March and the results were analysed by the research team at Suffolk County Council and shows that manufacturers are leading the way continuing the improvement seen at the end of 2011.
There has been an improved performance, ahead of the national trend, in both the domestic and export markets with both deliveries and orders up on the previous quarter.
Manufacturers also reported increased employment levels in Quarter 1 and indicate that there are positive expectations for the next quarter. In addition companies are reporting improved investment levels in plant and machinery for the second quarter running and, for the last three months in training.
Not surprisingly, business confidence in improving turnover and profitability continues to rebound from its low in the third quarter of 2011.
The survey also shows that the service sector had a difficult second half of 2011. There has been a robust improvement in performance in the domestic market since the New Year, both in terms of sales and orders which are very much in line with the national trend.
“There are genuine grounds for optimism in these results,” said John Dugmore the Chief Executive of Suffolk Chamber. “It is good news that our manufacturers have got the bit between their teeth and all business can be encouraged at the positive signals we are seeing.”
“The recovery in Suffolk appears to be stronger than the national trend which is a shot in the arm for us all,” he added.
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