St Helens Church St

Member Article

Economic picture in St Helens 'looking better' says Chamber

The Third Quarterly Economic Survey for 2013 by St Helens Chamber of Commerce has revealed an encouraging boost for the service sector, with improvements recorded across the ten key economic indicators.

Business confidence, employment levels, cashflow, investment figures and the percentage of firms operating at full capacity have notably all returned to 2007 pre-recession levels, reaffirming views that the St Helens Economy is improving.

The survey results proved less positive for manufacturers; however business confidence, investments in plant and machinery and cashflow have all seen small improvements.

Tracy Mawson, Director of Business Services at St Helens Chamber, said: “There are tentative signs that economic conditions in the Eurozone, the UK’s major trading partner, are slowly improving. Ireland and Spain, two of the countries hardest hit by the Eurozone crisis have emerged from recession, but significant economic and fiscal problems remain for a number of other member states. Further afield, although the US budget crisis is a concern, there are signs that the economies of China and Japan are improving.

“At a local level, the improvement in the economy is testament to the determination shown by our Members, who have consistently displayed confidence in the face of unwarranted pessimism over the economy. It is very encouraging to see the significant improvement in the service sector this quarter and whilst export markets remain unpredictable for manufacturing firms, the majority of key economic indicators remain in growth.

“This drive to make progress is reflected in three quarters of respondents intending to grow their business in some capacity over the next two years.

“Things are looking better, but there is no room for complacency as we are not ‘out of the woods’ yet. Most economists are predicting modest growth of around one percent for 2013 as a whole, but this does not change the fact that economic growth is slow and markets remain volatile. The pace of recovery will remain unduly slow for some time.”

The results of the St Helens survey, which was completed by 170 local businesses, will be fed into the national results complied by the British Chambers of Commerce, which are shared with the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee amongst other key high level decision makers.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Simon Malia .

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