QES Q1 results

Softening in the pace of growth but confidence remains strong

That’s the initial finding of the latest survey of West & North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce as the pace of growth in domestic markets slowed, continuing a trend which started 12 months ago. Manufacturing exports improved in the last three months back into positive territory following a turbulent second half of 2015. Confidence remains strong by historic standards, especially amongst service sector businesses but with the impending EU referendum companies have indicated a slowing in the pace of investment.

Mark Goldstone, head of policy at the Chamber, said:

“If there is one lesson we learned from the 2008 recession, it is the importance of cash in the bank. Businesses like certainty before they will invest with confidence and clearly this region is not immune from the effect of global events which in turn is delaying spending decisions. That said we must not lose sight of the fact all measures remain positive and the economy continues to grow, albeit at a slower pace.”

Simon Pilling, Corporate Partner at Bond Dickinson said: “Business confidence across our region remains high despite concerns around the introduction of the national living wage, the ongoing roll out of auto-enrolment pensions and the uncertainty around exchange rates in the event of an EU exit. Export figures are encouraging, providing evidence that businesses are looking further afield to fulfil their business growth ambitions. It is clear that 2016 will be a key year for Yorkshire businesses and exporting.”

View the full report here.