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Coventry and Warwickshire businesses more confident than the rest of the UK

PUBLISHED: 13:16 07 November 2017 | UPDATED: 13:16 07 November 2017

Louise Bennett, Chief Executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce (c) Jamie Gray

Louise Bennett, Chief Executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce (c) Jamie Gray

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Business confidence in Coventry and Warwickshire is higher than the national average but companies’ overall outlook for the next 12 months has dipped slightly, according to new data

The Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, in conjunction with Warwickshire County Council, has just published the results of its latest Quarterly Economic Survey (QES) of businesses in the region.

The survey, covering the third quarter of 2017, shows that overall business confidence fell by 1.7 points to 63.4, down from 65.1 in the previous quarter. Any score above 50 shows that the majority of companies are feeling positive and, while slightly down, the latest figure is higher than national and West Midlands wide surveys.

The slight drop in confidence is coupled with small falls in domestic and overseas orders in both the manufacturing and service sectors as well a small fall in recruitment expectations.

However, all of the indicators are still above the 50 mark and, therefore, the regional economy is forecast to continue growing but at a slower rate than previously hoped.

Louise Bennett, chief executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “The Coventry and Warwickshire economy is healthy and we have some outstanding businesses here of all sizes and sectors that are performing extremely well.

“We know the barriers to growth on our patch include the availability of land and access to a strong, skilled labour market that can fill the jobs that are out there.

“The outlook for businesses in Coventry and Warwickshire is stronger than that of the wider West Midlands and the rest of the UK but we must also recognise that there has been a small dip in confidence.

“Is that surprising? Not really. While the region performs well it cannot be immune from the uncertainty that continues at a national level. The path to Brexit remains unclear and the conflicting noises around striking a deal are unhelpful. Consumer spending has weakened and we have seen inflation rise to three per cent.

“In light of that, it’s great to see that the overall business outlook in Coventry and Warwickshire remains on the positive side and that is testament to the companies based on our patch who continue to look for opportunities to grow.

“Here at the Chamber, we are here to offer support to companies on everything from coaching and possible grant funding, through to international trade as well as providing a voice on issues that matter to firms.”

Dave Ayton-Hill, who heads Warwickshire County Council’s Economy and Skills team, said: “Despite the slight fall in the overall economic outlook index, the strength of the Coventry and Warwickshire economy is still very much evident.

“The area is continuing to see good growth, and demand for employment in the local area remains high with nearly every business surveyed looking to increase or maintain their current employment levels.

“We hope and expect this growth to continue into 2018, despite the current uncertainties that exist in the economy.”

Visit the Coventry and Warwickshire Chambe of Commerce website here.

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