The Quarterly Economic Survey

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.

Please take 3 minutes to complete the online survey (Quarter 3 – open until 18 Sep)

Summary of Quarter 2, 2018

Executive Summary

Domestic Sales

Sales and orders remain relatively strong in home markets.  Fortunes look decidedly more positive than the lows of two years ago.  This time around, service sector firms saw a slight dip in sales but order books are buoyant.  Manufacturers were boosted by better sales.

Export Sales & Orders

Export sales continue their upwards trajectory in the last quarter from their historic low point in 2016. All sectors reported increases in the last three months.


Labour market concerns continue, with many firms reporting difficulties in finding suitably qualified and/or experienced candidates to fill roles. Fewer manufacturers than last quarter expect their workforce levels to increase next quarter, while more in the service sector expect that to be the case.


Investment intentions slowed a little over the last quarter for both training and capital.

Business Confidence

Confidence remains at a good, solid level, despite member feedback about investment above and further on in the report.  Turnover and profit expectations are both substantially higher than they were two years ago and, although the service sector dipped a little this time around, confidence is generally quite good overall.  

Mark Goldstone, Head of Policy & Representation at West & North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce, said:

“Evidence that companies are looking to manage their costs more closely is the stand-out factor in this quarter’s survey. The slowing pace in the growth of head-counts, combined with a slowing of investment intentions, indicate that companies are starting to hold on to cash. Sales growth remains strong, both home and abroad, which is good news and confidence of increasing profits is also healthy, so indications that companies are taking a cautious and sensible approach to Brexit negotiations seems to be the conclusion.”




Previous reports available below

QES quarter 2 2017

QES quarter 3 2017


QES quarter 4 2017


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