7th Dec, 2016

Coventry region's firms make best new year forecast in decade

Coventry Editorial 15th Dec, 2015 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

COVENTRY and Warwickshire companies are heading into a new year with the most confidence in a decade, a survey suggests.

The Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce conducted its final Quarterly Economic Survey (QES) of 2015 and companies have delivered a positive outlook for the region.

The QES is used as a barometer for the regional economy and also feeds into the British Chambers of Commerce’s national statistics.

In the latest survey, 77.2 per cent of service sector companies said they expected turnover to rise in the next 12 months, as did 73.3 per cent of manufacturers.

It is a higher percentage in both sectors than in any fourth quarter survey dating back to 2004, the chamber says.

Around a third of service sector companies expect to increase their worforce in the next quarter with only 4.1 per cent reporting a possible fall in employees. Just 7.3 per cent of manufacturers believe they will need to shed staff in the next three months while 43.6 per cent say they will be increasing staff levels.

Louise Bennett, chief executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “This is a very confident outlook as we move into 2016.

“When you look back over the statistics, you can really chart how companies felt as we went into the recession and started to come out again – perhaps this latest QES indicates that we are finally getting over the effects of that.

“Of course, there is no room for complacency. There are frailties in the world economy which no country is protected from and, closer to home, there are issues around skills and infrastructure.

“We also need to get more companies exporting in order to drive a real re-balance in the economy.

“But, overall, it is good to hear that companies from across our patch are buoyant going into 2016 as we all look forward to a very prosperous year.”

Neary half (48.3 per cent) of service based businesses said advanced orders were up domestically with just 9.2 per cent saying they had fallen. In manufacturing, 46 per cent of firms said they had risen while 20 per cent had seen a dip.

On the international front, 27 per cent of service sector companies said advanced orders were up and 12.6 per cent were reporting a fall.

In manufacturing, half the businesses surveyed said advanced international orders were up and 15.6 per cent said they had dropped.