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Suffolk: Chamber survey reveals growing optimism among county’s firms

PUBLISHED: 09:56 13 May 2014 | UPDATED: 09:56 13 May 2014

Peter Funnell, president of Suffolk Chamber of Commerce.pa.

Peter Funnell, president of Suffolk Chamber of Commerce.pa.

Optimism among Suffolk manufacturers is at a high as domestic and export sales rise, according to a study.

The Suffolk Chamber of Commerce first Quarterly Economic Survey for 2014, which covers January to March show the county performing better than the national average.

“The feedback from our manufacturers around both domestic and export sales is excellent news and sets the pace for Suffolk Chamber’s 2014 ‘Business is good for Suffolk’ campaign.” said chamber president Dr Peter Funnell.

“Taking account of the strong performance of the service sector in domestic markets, we can also continue to be positive about the prospects for economic and jobs growth in the county for the rest of 2014.”

The service sector in Suffolk had a successful quarter in the domestic market, with both deliveries and orders balances soaring to all-time high levels.

As with manufacturing, county-based firms in the service sector also shared their optimism on turnover and profitability.

“Suffolk is the home of hard working and entrepreneurial businesses.” said Dr Funnell.

“The latest figures tell us that there is a 19% increase in employment in the service sector with prospects for taking on new staff rising to +33%, the highest point since Q1 2008.”

Confidence in turnover improved for the third consecutive quarter, up 11 percentage points to the highest level seen since the end of 2007.

“Having worked hard during the worst of the recession Suffolk businesses are continuing to grow in confidence and are beginning to invest.” said chamber chief executive John Dugmore.

“The picture from this important survey is encouraging 
and together with new initiatives such as the Norfolk and 
Suffolk Growth Hub, which 
will help optimise business growth opportunities in 
the area, we expect the 
position to strengthen going forward.”

The survey was conducted in March 2014 and the results were analysed by a research team at Suffolk County Council.

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