Reason for "cautious optimism" following latest business survey result

Posted on: 01/08/2018

Companies in Kirklees can be “cautiously optimistic” about the second half of the year, according to a new report.

The latest quarterly economic survey of its member firms by the Huddersfield-based Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce reported a slight improvement in UK sales and stable UK orders – adding that export sales and orders had “recovered well”.

Employment levels and expectation for recruitment were hailed as “robust” while capital investment had risen and investment in training was “steady”.

Chamber head of policy Steven Leigh said the survey of firms in Kirklees, Calderdale and Wakefield had produced an encouraging set of results which overall suggested that cautious optimism might be justifiable for the business outlook during the second-half of the year.

He said: “UK sales continued to improve whilst orders stabilised at historically robust levels. These solid UK sales and order figures are really encouraging and hopefully they will be maintained throughout the second-half of the year.

“It is good to report that export sales and orders have recovered well, reaching levels which were last reported back in 2014. This is a real boost because the Q1 figures had been a big disappointment and hopefully this upward trend will continue as the year progresses.

“Employment and employment expectation balances both held steady at levels which were last reported back in 2014. This healthy level is substantiated by official ONS figures for numbers of people in employment.”

Said Mr Leigh: “There are a number of other results in this survey which we welcome, and which to be frank, have come as quite a pleasant surprise.

“Levels of capital investment increased again in Q2 and whilst investment in training held steady this was somewhat unexpected

because of the reduced levels of apprenticeship training which have been reported since the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy last year.

“It is good to report that turnover and profit expectations have stabilised following significant gains in Q1. These figures suggest that cautious optimism might be justifiable for the business outlook during the second half of the year.”

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