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East Midlands Chamber News

Quarterly Economic Survey for Q1 2020 will establish direction of travel for region’s businesses

2019 was another year of political and economic uncertainty for businesses across the East Midlands and the UK, characterised largely by the ongoing negotiations to leave the EU – only resolved in the final month of the year – and the snap general election of the same month.

With the UK having now left the EU, and with a Government with a strong majority in place, are businesses preparing for more certainty and less turbulence moving forward, or are challenges and outstanding questions – not least what a UK/EU trade deal might look like – resulting in caution among businesses? Importantly, what are the region’s prospects like for 2020 in terms of job creation and growth?

The Chamber’s Quarterly Economic Survey (QES) – launching today – seeks to answer these questions, asking businesses to respond to a series of questions on different economic indicators, including sales, orders, investments, international activity, cashflow, recruitment plus many more; including a focus in this survey on the low carbon economy.

Responses to this crucial survey, and the feedback received, will be used to help shape regional and national decision making on how to best support the local business community.

QES is part of the UK’s biggest business survey run through the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) network and polls around 10,000 businesses each quarter to monitor business trends.

Commenting on the survey launch, Chris Hobson, Director of Policy at the Chamber, said: “While for the most part 2019 generated more questions than answers, business across the East Midlands area remained relatively robust. However, in conversation with our members across the region there was definitely a sense of driving with the handbrake on, and for some the uncertainty of last year caused real problems.

“What the results of this survey will detail is how the region’s businesses have responded to the outcome of the General Election, the UK formally leaving the EU and the start of the transition period for us to agree trading arrangements leading up to the end of 2020.

“Whatever happens, there will be both challenges and opportunities – the Quarterly Economic Survey will give a sense of how businesses are responding to these as the year progresses, and a steer on the kind of support they need in order to succeed.”

The survey runs from 17 February until 9 March. To take part, visit https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/HSS8Y8D.