Humber chamber survey highlights range of business challenges

A leading business group has called for interest rates cuts to help businesses in the Humber area as they continue to battle a range of challenges.

The quarterly business survey from the Hull and Humber Chamber of Commerce found “few bright spots”, with a big drop in the proportion of companies investing in plant, machinery and training. The number of firms trying to recruit new staff also fell, while cashflow remained in negative territory, despite seeing some improvements on the last quarter.

The Chamber said that less than a quarter (23%) of firms in the area were working at full capacity this quarter – “indicating that the business is still in the doldrums, to some degree.” But it highlighted a slight improvement in export and export orders, while fewer firms were reporting difficulties in recruiting the right staff for their operations.

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The Chamber’s external affairs director David Hooper said: “Raw material and finance costs were both down slightly this quarter, but there doesn’t seem to be much respite for businesses from the challenging trading conditions which continue to test many local firms.

“Exports improved marginally, but home sales and orders struggled again this quarter and there seems to be little appetite for firms to invest in training or new equipment, as many continue to focus on making ends meet. Looking ahead, most firms expect to see their prices rise in the coming months and more firms are worried about competition and inflation, so any help the Bank of England might be able to offer by way of an interest rate cut soon, will no doubt, be welcomed.”

The results have emerged as the UK took another step away from the recession which plagued it at the end of last year as gross domestic product grew again in February. The Office for National Statistics said that gross domestic product (GDP) was estimated to rise 0.1% in February, according to the official statisticians, and they also revised the previous estimate for January from 0.2% to 0.3% growth.

Original artice – https://business-live.co.uk/all-about/yorkshire-humber

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