Business confidence on the up in Yorkshire

Business confidence on the up in Yorkshire

Yorkshire businesses are outperforming the national average over the course of the third quarter, according to the latest report by the West & North Chamber of Commerce.

Businesses trading both domestically and internationally have reported increased sales and thickening order books, with the latter in particular benefitting from recent currency fluctuations. 

More companies are also looking beyond Europe to find new places to trade.

The positive signs are not restricted to particular sectors either, with good news coming in from manufacturers as well as services. 

The latter, though, has plenty to cheer, with domestic orders rising for the fourth consecutive quarter. 

The pace of job creation is levelling out, however: significant numbers of firms looking to recruit are having difficulties finding suitable staff.

In another boost for Yorkshire’s economic prospects, capital investment in the manufacturing sector is now at its highest level since the recession, says the Chamber; training investment also rose in both sectors of the economy. 

The positive signs were also mirrored in confidence levels – turnover and profit expectations were raised in both services and manufacturing, with the latter’s profitability back to levels last seen in 2015.

Roger Marsh OBE, Chair of Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership, which sponsors the survey, said: “The results are cause for renewed optimism as it finds businesses in a generally positive mood with both domestic and exporting activity increasing for services and manufacturing firms.

“This is encouraging to see and shows that levels of enthusiasm remain high among City Region businesses and the results suggest that this is translating into increased employment and business investment, which will help continue this momentum into the future.”

Mark Goldstone, Head of Policy & Representation at the Chamber, added: “The survey results show the region’s economy to be holding up very well. 

“In fact, our results are more positive than the national findings, showing that Yorkshire’s economy is robust, lively, dynamic and confident.  

“We now have one eye on the Autumn Budget, where we will be asking the Chancellor to deliver measures that support business growth, stimulate investment and provide confidence and reassurance.”