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Black Country Businesses Bucking the National Trend

Corin CraneBusinesses throughout the Black Country have reported a rise in confidence according to the results of a recent survey conducted by the Black Country Chamber of Commerce. In particular, the Q1 2017 Quarterly Economic Survey (QES) highlights that confidence relating to turnover now stands 68%, amounting to a rise of 7% on the previous quarter. Moreover, 60% of local businesses have reported an increase in confidence pertaining to profitability; a rise of 8% on Q4 2016 and 10% on this time last year. In contrast, the latest results of the Lloyds Business Barometer reports a fall in business confidence of 5%, highlighting that the Black Country is bucking the national trend.

In addition, this rise in confidence is further substantiated by an increase in domestic sales, with 42% of Black Country businesses having reported an upturn, amounting to an increase of 17% on the previous quarter.

Corin Crane, Chief Executive of the Black Country Chamber of Commerce, commented: “The last 12 months has been a somewhat tumultuous period for business, particularly in relation to the Brexit vote. It is positive to see that businesses across the region are now feeling confident moving forwards, and this renewed sense of buoyancy can ultimately help them to realise their ambitions for growth. With this in mind, it is of the utmost importance to harness an environment of stability and certainty, particularly as Brexit negotiations are in their early stage, so that our local and regional economy is able to thrive for years to come.

“Furthermore, as a result of the boost in confidence and domestic sales that have been reported, businesses throughout the region are now keen to raise their investment intentions within their respective organisations, which is great news for the local business community as we enter the new financial year. By investing in both plant and machinery, as well as employee training, Black Country businesses will be able to maintain their competitiveness on a national and international scale.”

The Quarterly Economic Survey (QES) is a survey that is conducted each quarter, the results of which contribute towards and are compiled by the British Chambers of Commerce to form one of the largest independent economic surveys of businesses in the UK. For more information and to get involved please visit www.blackcountrychamber.co.uk/qes.

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