Economic confidence is growing, firms say

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Business bosses in Sheffield have reported ‘increased confidence’ after a sustained period of growth for manufacturers.

The service sector has also seen a slight improvement on the second quarter of 2013, however the figures remain a “work in progress” and are similar to the same period a year ago.

The results for the city region are from the latest British Chambers of Commerce Quarterly Economic Survey, which looks at business confidence between July and September 2013.

Richard Wright, executive director of Sheffield Chamber of Commerce, said: “We are delighted to see that business confidence is starting to improve across the Sheffield City Region. This can only be a positive framework to build on and develop a sustainable economy for the long-term.

“A successful manufacturing sector is critical to a successful economy and to have positive results from two consecutive quarters in 2013 is very encouraging. However, there is still a long way to go and we must not become complacent.”

According to the survey, manufacturing has seen a significant increase in UK sales and orders, compared with the second quarter of this year. It has also seen improvement in investment, as well as turnover and profitability, which reached relatively high levels compared with recent years.

Businesses are more positive about cashflow and employment opportunities, too. The only negative area is that export sales and orders remain static.

Meanwhile, the service sector has seen an increase in UK sales and orders compared with the second quarter of 2013, and while export sales and orders have improved, they remain low.