SUSSEX ENTERPRISE: NEW ECONOMIC SURVEY SHOWS NEED FOR GROWTH ENHANCING POLICIES

07 November 2011

Sussex Enterprise publishes the results of the prestigious British Chambers of Commerce Quarterly Economic Survey for the third quarter of 2011. The national survey, the most respected of its kind, gives a clear and accurate portrait of business confidence.

Sussex Enterprise publishes the results of the prestigious British Chambers of Commerce Quarterly Economic Survey for the third quarter of 2011. The national survey, the most respected of its kind, gives a clear and accurate portrait of business confidence. As a result, it is used by government ministers, senior policy officials and key decision makers to inform strategic choices at the highest level.

Figures for Sussex for the domestic market, exports, business confidence and cashflow have weakened over the last quarter.

Business confidence: The QES figures suggest that Sussex businesses are less confident of increasing their expected turnover over the next 12 months, than they were in Q2 2011.  Sussex’s turnover balance fell by 20 points, to 0%.  Meanwhile, profitability confidence over the next 12 months also lost ground compared with last quarter, falling by 11 points to -19%.  Lower business confidence negatively impacts businesses decision-making, recruitment and investment.

Domestic market: The home balance figures lost some ground since last quarter for sales and orders.  Sussex’s home sales balance is down by 13 points to -11% and home orders balance lost 12 points, to -21%.

Exports: The export figures worsened during the last quarter.  Sussex’s export sales balance fell by19 points to -5% and export orders balance lost 36 points, to -21%.

Employment expectations: The employment balance among Sussex firms rose by just four points, to 5%. Figures for the last three months suggest the employment expectations balance has fallen by 11 points, to 2% demonstrating firms are hesitant to take on new staff.

Cashflow: Figures for the last three months suggest that cashflow among firms in Sussex has worsened – the balance for Sussex fell by 19 points, to -19%.

Prices:  Figures show the balance of Sussex firms wanting to increase prices has fallen by nine points, to 19%, indicating greater price instability.

Commenting on the results for Sussex, Mark Froud, Chief Executive of Sussex Enterprise said: “The results of our latest survey are concerning, but not entirely surprising. Many of the balances have slipped into negative territory over the last quarter. The survey shows the real risks facing the economy and the need for the government to act now in putting business growth at the heart of all its policies. For example, cashflow remains a real concern for businesses, indicating they are under financial pressures. Many businesses are faced with unfavourable payment terms and a lack of access to capital.
 
“The pace of the UK recovery will remain slow. We can avoid a recession, but this relies on the government making some tough policy choices. While it is imperative that the government perseveres with its deficit-cutting plan, there must be a significant reallocation of priorities within the overall spending envelope. We need a much greater focus on those policies that will help businesses expand, take on more staff, export and invest."

 
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