Good news for Wakefield region’s business revealed

Businesses across Wakefield are defying Brexit gloom by reporting thriving trade for the first three months of this year.

Thursday, 4th April 2019, 2:41 pm
Updated Thursday, 4th April 2019, 3:44 pm

There are signs of ‘stability’ and ‘improvement’ despite the economic uncertainty, the Mid Yorkshire Chamber’s Quarterly Economic Survey reveals.

This business barometer tracks trends in domestic and export sales, past and future employment, recruitment, and confidence in future turnover and profitability.

An encouraging 85 per cent of respondents reported UK sales either increased or remained constant during January to March 2019 – a level not seen for four years.

Sign up to our daily Wakefield Express Today newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Increased or ‘remained constant’ balances for UK orders were indicated by 84 per cent of respondents, a 12 point increase from 2018’s last three months.

While turnover expectations fell by 11 points in Quarter One, profitability balances stabilised at 39 per cent, with ‘increased’ or ‘remained constant’ balances for turnover and profitability, of 86 per cent and 84 per cent .

Many companies reported robust balances for employment. Official ONS statistics highlight record numbers of people in employment, and very low levels of unemployment.

Investments in training are increasing, from 14 to 21 per cent from Quarter 4 - while cashflow and investments in plant and machinery stabilised.

While the overall outlook for businesses is good, export sales and orders dipped slightly, by two points to 18 per cent, largely due to a weaker pound.

Steven Leigh, head of policy and representation at Mid Yorkshire Chamber said: “Despite difficult conditions, businesses within our Chamber area have demonstrated their resourcefulness and resilience, which is a promising start for 2019.”