Sheffield’s gloomy economic situation revealed by report

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LATEST statistics show Sheffield businesses have suffered a decline in sales and order figures.

Figures in the latest Quarterly Economy Survey, created by the British Chambers of Commerce, show Sheffield’s regional economy needs a ‘shot in the arm’ after poorer sales and orders figures for the first part of 2013 than the final quarter of last year.

Business confidence in Sheffield City Region’s manufacturing and service sectors is said to remain low.

Richard Wright, executive director of Sheffield Chamber of Commerce, said: “The results showcase a real need to boost confidence in the manufacturing and services sector.

“Businesses have good levels of profitability and turnover, but our regional economy needs a shot in the arm and quickly to encourage businesses to invest that money in growth opportunities.

“Order books for the UK and export markets continue to fluctuate and businesses remain cautious. This needs to change if we are to see the growth forecasts proposed by the national Office of Budget Responsibility being realised.

“Growth expectations for 2013 have already been halved and I feel forecasts for 2014 and beyond remain optimistic. More needs to be done by Government, businesses, councils and Chambers of Commerce if the economy is to hit those targets.

“Comparing these results with the start of last year, there is very little difference. The economy has flat-lined and needs an injection of support to move it forward.”

Manufacturing suffered a disappointing period with a reduction in orders and sales for both UK and export markets. In the service sector UK and international sales and orders remained static and exports continued at low levels. Employment in manufacturing during the last three months improved with job expectations good.

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