The Chamber’s Quarterly Economic Survey monitors economic trends and takes the business temperature, accurately and comprehensively, in a range of areas relevant to our members across West & North Yorkshire. The quarterly report is read by, and relied upon by policy makers across our region.
Summary of Quarter 1, 2018
Domestic sales and orders
Both services and manufacturing reported improvements in the last quarter with sales net balance up 3 and 4 points respectively. The service sector in particular has shown strong growth since the EU referendum and is now back at figures last reported in early 2015. Both sectors reported an increase in forward orders in the last quarter.
Export sales and orders
In contrast the pace of growth in overseas sales slowed for the second consecutive quarter with companies across North Yorkshire reporting the lowest net balance in the last quarter.
46% of service sector businesses and 55% of manufacturers attempted to recruit staff in the last quarter with just over half of companies acknowledging some difficulties in finding suitably skilled staff. Employment growth remains positive right across the region.
The number of manufacturing companies reporting increased capital investment is at its highest level since 2007. Likewise the service sector also reported increased investment to a level last reported in 2013. Investment in training also increased slightly within the service sector and manufacturers reported no change on the last quarter.
Confidence within the service sector has improved in the last quarter with expectations of increasing turnover and profitability both at their highest point since 2014. Manufacturers also report increasing confidence although the pressure to raise prices is very strong as input costs continue to squeeze margins.
Price Rises and cost reduction
The squeeze on manufacturing margins from rising input costs has brought about the expected response as an increasing number of companies look set to pass on these costs through price rises.
For some within the service sector this tactic is also playing out, although with competition a cause of concern for many, this may not be as extensive as within the manufacturing sector.
The full report is available here.
Thank you to Ad:Venture for supporting the latest Quarterly Economic Survey – it is much appreciated. A contribution is included in the report.
Previous reports available below