Northamptonshire firms buck the national trend by posting strong results

Northamptonshire’s businesses bucked the national trend by posting strong results at the end of last year in the face of political uncertainty.

Nationally, there was weak growth at the end of 2019 but the results from Northamptonshire Chamber of Commerce’s latest Quarterly Economic Survey (QES) show county businesses continued to yield stable and strong results.

The findings for Quarter 4 of 2019, released today, revealed respondents saw a slight increase in domestic activity, around half actively recruited during the period and more than 60 per cent were confident about the future.

However, Northamptonshire businesses did experience a drop in overseas demand for their goods and more than half of those surveyed, who attempted to recruit during Quarter 4, experienced difficulties in attracting appropriate staff.

Northamptonshire Chamber chief executive Paul Griffiths said: “The latest QES goes to show the resilience and positive attitudes of our county’s business community.

“Weak growth, a decrease in consumer demand, export sales and investment intentions were being felt nationally at the end of last year but Northamptonshire’s businesses demonstrated stable and strong results during the quarter.

“Business confidence remained steady with firms continuing to adopt a positive outlook for the future and training investment also rose.

“However, if dramatic change is not enacted it is likely that businesses will halt investment in recruitment – to the detriment of growth.

“We will continue to feed our QES results to local, regional and national policymakers and urge the Government to realise that all businesses are in need of support and encouragement at this time.”

Northamptonshire Chamber’s QES is part of the biggest and most representative survey of its kind in the UK. QES data is used by the Bank of England to inform interest rate decisions, by the Treasury to help formulate economic policy and by international finance institutions to assess the UK’s economy.