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Latest survey shows fall in confidence

Business confidence has taken a dip in Coventry and Warwickshire in the final quarter of 2018.

Latest survey shows fall in confidence

The Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce conducts a Quarterly Economic Survey (QES) in conjunction with Warwickshire County Council to measure the feeling among firms across the city and county in both the service sector and manufacturing.

The findings also get fed into the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) to help build up a national picture at the same time as measuring the regional economy.

And the figures for the final three months of 2018 show that business confidence has fallen – particularly in the service sector – where it dropped from 76.2 to 69.8, where 50 is the halfway figure between positive and negative.

In manufacturing, the fall was not as big – going from 78.4 down to 76.0 – and it means that, while dropping, confidence still remains above the 50 mark and is also ahead of the national average.

The survey of more than 434 businesses also found that the overall economic outlook had fallen from 65.2 to 62.3, that domestic and overseas orders were down and that investment and cashflow had dropped.

Despite the dip, Coventry and Warwickshire remains above the national average and is still well clear of the 50 benchmark in all categories measured.

Louise Bennett, chief executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “Uncertainty is really kicking in and is undoubtedly affecting confidence among businesses across the region.

“The Chamber, along with other business organisations, has been pressing hard for businesses to be given certainty about the future and that has still not been forthcoming.

“So it is understandable that we have seen a weaker QES – although as a region we are still in a stronger position than most.

“And we would urge firms across Coventry and Warwickshire to make the most of the help and support on offer to help them grow in the New Year.”

David Ayton-Hill, Economy & Skills Group Manager at Warwickshire County Council, said: “On the whole, it is a hesitant and pessimistic outlook this quarter which was to be expected. Key events taking place this quarter including the EU Summit and parliamentary votes on the deal forecasted make it a key time for business to be cautious and aware, waiting to discover what the economic future may look like for them.

“Until there is more clarity on the future for the UK in terms of Brexit, it is likely for this type of behaviour and attitude from businesses to continue.”

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