Business confidence in North East 'least negative' across whole country
According to the latest ICAEW Business Confidence Monitor (BCM), business confidence is said to be the least negative in the North East region.
The region’s Q2 score of -2.6 is down on the Q2 2018 score of +6.5, however above the Q2 UK average of -16.6.
Local businesses have reported some of the strongest rates of profit growth in the UK in the year to date; the growth of four per cent is substantially up from the 2.1 per cent achieved in the year to Q2 2018.
Faster rises in profits have been supported by healthy sales growth.
This quarter’s increased optimism is likely to have been helped by fairly robust domestic sales growth of 4.6 per cent in the year to Q2 2019, which compares favourably with the 2.9 per cent rate of 12 months ago.
In addition, exports growth (four per cent) remains stable, rising in line with last year.
Moreover, a falling proportion of companies in the region reported that they are operating below capacity (down to 48 per cent); the lowest percentage for two years.
In addition, a lower proportion of companies than a year ago report marketplace competition and customer demand as pressing issues.
The most widespread challenge continues to be regulatory requirements, but only 43 per cent of businesses now express growing concern over these, down from 53 per cent a year earlier.
The proportion of companies reporting the availability of non-management skills as a source of growing difficulty is now 18 per cent, (this is down from 24 per cent a year ago).
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