• Thu. Apr 18th, 2024

North East Connected

Hopping Across The North East From Hub To Hub

NEECCThe latest Quarterly Economic Survey (QES) by the North East England Chamber of Commerce published today (Monday, 11 July 2016) shows businesses delivered steady growth in the second quarter of 2016.

The positive results come despite concerns of a slowdown in the uncertain period prior to the EU referendum.

Once again, the score for workforce was one of the highlights of the survey, with a score of +22.3, well above historic averages.

But there was a significant discrepancy between the main sectors, with services firms reporting strong growth in sales and orders, while manufacturers saw a decline for both domestic and export markets.

Mike Matthews, Chamber President, and managing director, Nifco UK said: “My own sector, manufacturing, has fared a little less well than the service sector which is disappointing.  Manufacturing has long been the mainstay of the North East economy, and one that instils great regional, and for me, personal pride.

“Its commitment to continued investment and employment despite short-term pressures is heartening and I hope this gets maximum support.”

Ross Smith, director of policy for the Chamber said: “These figures show our region is reporting steady growth but not spectacular. The scores for manufacturing are a little concerning, but our economy in 2016 is much more diverse than in previous eras so we are more able to withstand temporary issues in particular sectors.

“This survey was undertaken before the EU referendum result so we cannot yet judge what effect that will have. It will be some time before we will see whether the full impact on our economy will be positive or negative.”

Law firm Swinburne Maddison has reported strong growth with an increase in turnover of 25%. Victoria Walton, Partner from the commercial property team, said: “We are now embarking on a recruitment drive for nine new members of staff and have seen growth across all teams, including the property team.   The firm’s corporate team has also been particularly successful this year advising on a record number of mergers and acquisition deals for the firm in the last quarter.

Survey responses in this second quarter show that growth among Chamber members has settled at a level that is very close to the average rate for the 21 years this survey has been carried out. After relatively high levels of growth from late 2013 to early 2015, the past four quarters have shown roughly the same overall picture of steady but unspectacular growth.

While many indicators show growth levels unchanged from Quarter One, one piece of good news is that the cashflow situation has improved significantly among North East businesses.

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