Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce figures ‘herald the onset of recovery’

Andrew Choi from Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce
Andrew Choi from Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce

An economic recovery is gathering pace after company balance sheets showed improving sales and orders, a report has found.

The latest quarterly survey by the Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce indicates growing confidence among firms as domestic and overseas markets grow.

Home sales increased by 14 points on the chambers survey index, domestic orders grew by 17 to 35 points and export orders were up from 26 to 32 points.

It was the second consecutive month sales and orders improved.

Export orders fell, but the report said the figure remained buoyant at 26 points after falling from 31.

Andrew Choi, the chamber’s executive director, said: “It is fantastic to see confidence returning, albeit slowly, after a sustained period of difficulty for many businesses.

“In particular we are encouraged by improving adult employment figures, which not only tell us that companies are investing and growing, but also indicate wider economic benefits for our district.”

Steven Leigh, the chamber’s head of policy, said: “It is clear from the responses to this quarter’s survey that optimism is returning to our region.

“This now coincides with the broader economic trends which are being reported at national level, and it is encouraging that our own region’s figures are starting to herald the onset of economic recovery.”

Despite some positive results, companies who took part in the survey were still worried about price pressures.

Concerns about finance costs were at a three-year high and raw material price pressures rose from a zero balance in the second quarter of the year to 31 points in the survey.

The report said: “More must be done to provide effective and affordable finance for businesses, and we urge the government to greatly accelerate the timetable for the establishment of the British Business Bank.”

The report also criticised business rates, which chamber bosses say are too high.

It said: “Business rates are an antiquated tax which take no account whatsoever of business performance.”