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Economic outlook in Coventry and Warwickshire has improved for the first time in 2018

The economic outlook in Coventry and Warwickshire has improved for the first time in 2018, according to a major survey with businesses, and it is still way ahead of the UK economy as a whole.

The Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce’s Quarterly Economic Survey (QES) in conjunction with Warwickshire County Council,  for the third quarter of the year showed a marginal rise in its economic outlook index from 65.0 to 65.2, where any figure above 50 would indicate positive growth.

The QES acts as a barometer for the regional economy and also feeds into the British Chambers of Commerce’s national survey.

Firms of all sizes from across the region in both manufacturing and services are asked a series of questions about their order books, their employment intentions and plans to invest.

Domestic orders in manufacturing are up from 63.6 to 67.3 while there has been a fall in the service sector while overseas orders in both manufacturing and services have risen slightly.

Employment and investment intentions rose marginally in the service sector with a small drop in both in manufacturing.

Louise Bennett, Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce chief executive, said: “It’s very encouraging to see the economy of Coventry and Warwickshire performing well and that our businesses, in the main, remain confident about the future.

“Order books are looking healthy and this bears out what we are hearing when we speak to firms across the region.

“Of course, there is a backdrop of uncertainty and the feeling among many members is that the economy would be soaring were it not for that but, overall, this survey is a positive reflection of where the economy of Coventry and Warwickshire currently stands.

“We look forward to the Chancellor’s Budget later this month to see what measures are taken to support continued business growth in the face of the uncertainty facing companies.”

David Ayton-Hill, Economy & Skills Group Manager for Warwickshire County Council, said the timing of the survey may have impacted the result and that the Q4 feedback would make interesting reading.

He said: “Coventry and Warwickshire’s economic outlook has been well above the national average for some time and that remains the case.

“It is also pleasing to see that the overall outlook has improved in the third quarter of 2018.

“However, the survey was undertaken before the recent EU Summit and subsequent announcements from major manufacturers on their future investment plans.

“By the time we come to the Q4 survey, the picture could be different again so it will be interesting to see whether it has more of a bearing in businesses’ outlook for the future.”

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