Confidence rises in City Region despite static export sales

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Business confidence in the Sheffield City Region is continuing to improve, according to the latest quarterly economic survey from the British Chambers of Commerce.

The boost in confidence comes despite export sales and orders and employment expectations remaining static in the last quarter of 2013, compared with the previous quarter.

Manufacturers were particularly positive about export sales and orders, however, results in other key areas were not as impressive when compared with the third quarter, with UK sales and orders falling, along with investment in machinery and training.

While turnover and profitability remained good, they also reduced, and employment expectations and cash flow remained static.

“These results mirror what we are hearing from businesses in a variety of sector across the Sheffield City Region,” said Sheffield Chamber of Commerce executive director Richard Wright.

Confidence in the economy is improving and the green shoots of recovery are certainly visible.

“It is difficult to compare performance quarter by quarter as activity can fluctuate significantly. A more accurate measure of growth is against the same quarter a year ago and it is pleasing to see many areas in both sectors showing more positive results in 2013 compared with 2012.”

“However, we must not take our foot off the pedal as levels continue to be low. More can still be done by the local authorities, LEP, Government and the Chambers of Commerce.”