Businesses in North feeling ‘upbeat’

Businesses in North feeling ‘upbeat’

Business confidence in the North of England is in positive territory according to the latest ICAEW Business Confidence Monitor (BCM).

The same survey has seen sales expectations in the region for the year ahead be upgraded substantially.

At the end of quarter 2 2017, the business confidence monitor stands at +5.6 for the North of England.

Input prices are forecast to continue rising, though the impact on output prices won’t reach quite the same levels.

International sales are expected to grow by 7.2%, higher than the anticipated rise for domestic sales, whilst the level of capital investment is anticipated to slip by up to a third.

Keith Proudfoot, ICAEW Northern England director said: “It’s encouraging to see business confidence in the North back into positive territory this quarter. Inflation continues to rise and commodity prices are increasing more rapidly than before, so we expect input prices to continue growing across the region.

“Businesses expect to pass some of these increases on to their customers which means that 2017 is likely to be a year of counting the pounds and pennies for consumers in the North.

“This shift to positive confidence in the North has been accompanied by some substantial upgrades to sales expectations for the year ahead. In particular, export sales are strong as businesses in the region take advantage of weaker sterling.

“Despite this renewed sense of business confidence in the region, it is likely some uncertainty will remain as businesses will be waiting to see what happens in the political arena, particularly in relation to how EU negotiations play out.”