Quarterly Economic Survey Q4 2017 | 20.12.17
This report completes the Chamber’s Economic Reports for 2017. This is a year where growth has slowed and there has been much discussion about what Brexit might mean. However, for many companies it has been a solid year with reasonable demand and margins.
As usual, the survey was completed by Devon Chamber members, members of partner and affiliate chambers and other companies who chose to register. They form a large section of companies by size, sector and distribution across the county. The results of the survey are added to those obtained by the other 51 accredited Chambers of Commerce covering the whole of the UK. This comprises the British Chamber of Commerce Quarterly Economic Survey which provides an economic picture for the whole of the country. This survey provides empirical evidence for decision makers locally, regionally and nationally.
The majority of the findings of the fourth Quarterly Economic Survey are positive with good sales and strong export sales. However there are some clear indications that the economy in Devon is weakening.
Of particular note is the sharp rise in the proportion of companies who feel that confidence will worsen over the next twelve months. Other negative indications are deteriorating cashflow and the large drop in those companies intending to invest in plant and machinery. All of this indicates a slowing economy and backs up announcements by the Chancellor of Exchequer and Bank of England about lower growth rates.
These trends shown in the Devon survey are expected to be reflected in the national results. As a result British Chambers of Commerce and most local Chambers will be pushing Government to reduce uncertainties especially in respect of Brexit, as well as encourage the Bank of England to show that any further rise in interest rates is a long way off. Many companies will express satisfaction at their results for the end of 2017. Looking into 2018 there are challenges ahead; but together we will succeed.
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