Quarterly Economic Survey shows decrease in business confidence amid political uncertainty

Quarterly Economic Survey shows decrease in business confidence amid political uncertainty

Lincolnshire Chamber of Commerce Quarterly Economic Survey (QES) reveals the positivity that had been building throughout 2019 has taken a major hit amid long term uncertainty, rising costs and a continued slowing global economy, which is much the same on a national level according to British Chambers of Commerce.

Quarter 4 results show a disappointing set of outcomes across most indicators, including UK sales which were seen as contracting for the first time in three and a half years, whilst UK orders have fallen.

We have also seen overseas sales contract for the first time in two and a half years, with overseas orders also reducing.

There was a clear difference to our quarter 3 results which were surprisingly buoyant compared to that of the national ones, however with these Q4 results we are seeing a downturn bringing us more in line with what the British Chambers of Commerce have been reporting at a national level since quarter 3, suggesting a lag in the economy in our area.

Simon Beardsley, Chief Executive at Lincolnshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “We have seen such a significant change in results from that of quarter 3 and we can only assume that the drop in confidence can be attributed to the build-up to the then approaching General Election and ongoing Brexit uncertainties.”

It’s not all negative though, we see workforce levels maintained and the easing of price pressures – something that we thought would increase as we headed towards the end of 2019.

Simon, added: “Amongst the decline in figures across most indicators in quarter 4, we have actually seen our highest ever exporting documentation figures in October and November 2019, suggesting overseas sales were holding up, however a clear future trading relationship with the EU is ever more crucial to many firms’ future investment and growth prospects.

“As we see an end to the political deadlock at Westminster, this must also bring action to renew business confidence and tackle the prolonged stagnation that’s affecting so much of the UK economy, not just Lincolnshire.”

Full Lincolnshire briefing can be found here.

Come along to our QES Q4 Breakfast Briefing on Tuesday 14th January at Commerce House, where we will be discussing the results in more detail, you can book on here.

Quarter 1 2020 fieldwork will open on Monday 17th February and will remain open until Monday 9th March.

See the national results here.

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