The Quarterly Economic Survey portrays a regular picture of local and sub-regional economic trends and business performance/activities, including order books, investment plans and recruitment.

This long-running survey also monitors business confidence and supports the economic forecasting of key organisations like the Bank of England.

Executive Summary - Q1 2022

Read the full Q1 2021 Quarterly Economic Report online


The pace of growth in UK sales plateaued in the last quarter for both services and manufacturing, although net balances remain at pre-Covid levels indicating underlying demand remains.


International sales remain subdued as companies continue to deal with the fallout from the pandemic. Companies continue to face disruption in their trade with the EU, some of this is down to haulage disruption and increasing costs. Looking forward, manufacturing firms are indicating an uptick in orders as travel restrictions ease.


Recruitment difficulties are reported by nearly 70% of companies across our region leaving firms struggling to fill vacancies.


Companies are most likely to be directing investment towards new technology followed closely by investment into new talent pipelines and also into development of existing staff. This is likely being driven by ongoing recruitment challenges and may help to increase productivity of companies across our region.


Companies are most likely to be Inflationary pressures driven by energy, transport costs and labour shortages are the stand out features this quarter. 87% of manufacturers say raw material prices are a major concern this quarter equalling the record high set last quarter. Cost pressures are reflected in cash flow with many firms reporting this has worsened in the last quarter, this is most acute with manufacturers and business to consumer facing companies.


Despite all of the headwinds, business confidence held up in the last quarter, perhaps an indication that many see current market conditions as a short term barrier to growth.

The largest economic survey in the country enables us to present an overview of the region to the economic policy makers in the capital.
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