December 11 2013 Latest news:
Friday, October 18, 2013
Suffolk’s economic recovery has been underlined in a quarterly survey which has highlighted improvements at home and abroad.
The Suffolk Chamber of Commerce third Quarterly Economic Survey, which covers July to September 2013, revealed a strengthening domestic market performance. It follows a period of decline in the second quarter, which went against the national trend.
Meanwhile, the county’s exporters continued to report improved sales and short-term prospects for trade.
Chamber president Dr Peter Funnell, described the data as “a cause for optimism”.
Export balances soared to record highs for both orders during quarter 3 and prospects for quarter 4, in contrast to national balances, which dipped this quarter. The county’s service sector export deliveries balance reached an all-time high of plus 82%, a 17% rise.
Overall, Suffolk firms were slightly more positive about taking on new staff in the quarter. Manufacturers showed an employment balance of plus 32%, a rise of 28%. However, service sector firms were more cautious about employing additional staff, with the quarter’s employment balance showing a small rise of 4% to plus 10%.
The county’s manufacturers reported a decline in confidence, both in turnover and profitability during quarter 3. It was the second quarter in a row where confidence fell in Suffolk in contrast to the national trend.
Relatively low sample sizes for Suffolk means there are may be some fluctuations and “strange trends”, the survey warns, but adds that the results from the county often appear to tie in “remarkably well “ with those from the UK-wide survey.
Dr Funnell said: “Our improved domestic market performance combined with our continuing export strengths, supported by the Chamber’s ‘Exporting is Good for Suffolk’ campaign, gives us real cause for optimism that the economic recovery in Suffolk is gathering momentum
He added: “There is a real consistency to the local picture that is to be welcomed.”
He described the service sector results as “excellent”.