Exports brighten cloudy economic outlook – NECC report

NORTH East exporters flew the flag for the region’s economy amid worrying reports that trading conditions are becoming increasingly tough for businesses, according to new data.

 The North East Chamber of Commerce (NECC) today publishes its quarterly economic report, the North East Business Barometer, which showed most economic indicators dropping into the red.

 The business barometer, sponsored by Barclays, graphically illustrated the importance of global trading conditions on the future health of the North East economy.

Both export sales and orders were up (by +9.8% and +11.1% respectively) over the last quarter with both indicators firmly in growth.

 But the picture was far less positive for UK sales and orders which fell sharply. Furthermore, the number of companies planning to invest in plant and training shrank while companies indicated they were scaling back recruitment plans.

 James Ramsbotham, NECC chief executive, said: “There is nervousness among businesses – particularly the service sector – about the current economic climate and how the Government’s planned spending review next month will impact on orders in the future. It is very apparent that  there will be considerable spending cuts in areas of the public sector that will have a sharp impact on areas of our economy.

 “NECC has said for some time now that we must look to the global economy to create healthy a North East business community for the long-term and to avoid slipping back into a double dip recession. This latest data bears that out and emphasises the need for firms to actively pursue opportunities abroad. We must also provide the appropriate support to help North East firms win work on the world stage.”

 The following table provides a snapshot of the latest results (all companies) with comparisons made on the previous three and 12 month periods:

Indicator Balance (all companies) Balance Q3 2010 Change on last Quarter Change on last Year
UK Sales -16.4  

-18.9

 

 

-4.2

UK Orders -21.2  

-24.6

 

 

-8.4

Export Sales 7.7  

+9.8

 

 

+10.2

Export Orders 7.9  

+11.1

 

 

+7.9

Plant Investment Plans -10.5  

-5.0

 

 

+1.7

Training Investment Plans 1.0  

-0.8

 

 

+15.8

Prices -1.0  

-4.3

 

 

+10.0

Current Workforce -1.8  

-0.2

 

 

+7.6

Future Workforce -1.0  

-15.8

 

 

-12.5

Future Profitability 7.5  

-3.9

 

 

-10.5

Future Turnover 8.5  

-15.1

 

 

-21.1

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