29th May, 2017

Chamber survey reveals businesses less confident now than 12 months previous

NEW figures suggest businesses in the area ended 2016 in a less confident mood than they started it.

A survey by the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce showed fewer companies in both the services and manufacturing sector were expecting turnover to rise than did 12 months ago.

In the service sector, 64 per cent of companies said they expected turnover to grow in 2017, compared to 77 per cent last year.

In manufacturing, just under half of firms believed their turnover would rise compared with 73 per cent a year ago.

But the outlook is not set to hit jobs with around a third of manufacturers saying they expected to take on more staff over the next 12 months.

There is also positive news on the investment front as just over half of manufacturers saying they would increase spending on plant, machinery, equipment and buildings, with nearly as many also wanting to boost spending on training.

Louise Bennett, chief executive of Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said the figures had to be taken in context.

She added: “This time a year ago we had the most positive end of year survey we had seen for a decade and it would have been difficult to expect confidence to be even higher 12 months on.

“It’s great to see that so many manufacturers across the patch are still looking to invest.

“We can’t say for sure what has caused the dip in confidence but the political instability will have had an effect on some businesses’ outlook for the year ahead.”