button button button button button button
button button button

Businesses need more certainty and support in 2018

Posted on 20 December 2017

Despite strong performances by exporters cashing in on the pound’s lower value during the earlier parts of 2017, businesses will be looking for greater certainty and support from Government next year and beyond.

That was the underlying message of the responses to the East Midlands Chamber* Quarterly Economic Survey for the final three months of the year.

Expected inflationary pressures, particularly arising from the cost of importing raw materials, resulted in a cooling of business confidence in the final quarter, but overall it remained strong.

The percentage of companies that reported confidence in turnover in Q4 was slightly down on Q3 but finished the year about ten percentage points higher than in Q4 2016. Confidence in profitability showed an even stronger finish to the year, up almost 20 percentage points over 12 months earlier.

Uncertainty about the future meant business expressing increased investment intentions throughout 2017 were fewer than in 2016 but, overall, ended the year about two percentage points higher than it started.

Recruitment difficulties remained a constant problem for businesses throughout the year, with 60% of respondents saying they had tried to recruit and 58% of them saying they’d struggled to find suitable candidates.

In the survey, over a third (36%) of respondents said they had recruited staff during the previous three months compared with just ten per cent that said they’d reduced their workforce.

Intentions to invest in equipment and training remained relatively weak in the fourth quarter compared with historic levels and the concerns about future price increases, which have been a feature of the past 12 months, remained.

Chris Hobson, the Chamber’s Director of Policy, said: “As we move into 2018, businesses will be looking for greater certainty and support to give them the confidence to invest and help grow productivity.

“The skills gap remains a key strategic issue for UK growth and one that Government policy needs to respond to in a meaningful way.

“Despite the uncertainty, however, the State of the Economy Index - compiled from the net results of the Quarterly Economic Survey - ended the year at 360, the second highest it’s been since Q2 2015.

“With Brexit talks now beginning to look at more positive things such as trading arrangements and the customs union, we hope that our negotiators will keep the needs of business to the fore so that we don’t lose momentum when it comes to confidence and investment plans.”

QES Q4 infographic

Share and Comment

Share Your News

Got some exciting news you'd like to share with thousands of Chamber members across the East Midlands? Email your press release to: magazine@emc-dnl.co.uk


Chamber Magazines

The Chamber produces a range of publications each month to ensure its members are kept up-to-date with all the latest news and updates from the local business community.


Members' Briefings

Exclusive to Chamber members, Members' Briefing contains vital information on the latest legislation as well as local, regional and national news that has an impact on your business.


Friars Mill

Friars Mill

Members' Offer

One of the many great offers available to members:

Contact The Chamber Chesterfield (Registered Office): 01246 207207
Derby: 01332 851280
Nottingham: 0115 957 8757
Leicester: 0116 247 1800
Monday to Thursday: 8.30am - 5.30pm, Friday: 8.30am - 5.00pm
© 2018 East Midlands Chamber (Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire).
All Rights Reserved. Registered in England and Wales. Company No. 01785710
Terms and Conditions. Quality Policies. FAQ's. Contact Us. Web Design by Iogen. Copywriting Support by Green Light Copywriting.