Northamptonshire Chamber of Commerce reveals results of its latest Quarterly Economic Survey

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The majority of Northamptonshire firms expect their turnover will increase during 2022 but are bracing themselves for rising prices, according to the county’s largest business survey.

Service sector companies were the most upbeat about 2022 and although the majority of county manufacturers were also confident about their future turnover figures, this was offset by many suggesting they expected to see their profits fall in the next 12 months.

The revelations came in the latest Quarterly Economic Survey (QES) carried out by Northamptonshire Chamber of Commerce at the end of 2021 to find out how businesses were faring.

Northamptonshire Chamber head of policy Sean Rose said: “It’s good to see that Northamptonshire businesses are positive about the future.

“However, despite the optimism, concerns about price pressures are once again dominating our survey results.

“Almost 90 per cent of service firms and nearly 60 per cent of manufacturers who responded to our survey indicated that they expect prices to increase during the first three months of 2022.”

The survey also revealed that nearly half of the county’s service firms had seen a rise in their domestic sales during the last quarter whilst more than 80 per cent of manufacturers had seen their current and advanced domestic orders remain constant or increase.

Nearly 80 per cent of Northamptonshire’s service firms reported that their overseas orders had increased or remained at the same level as the previous three months.

Around half of service firms said their workforce had grown at the end of 2021 and nearly 70 per cent of manufacturers reported that their numbers had remained stable.

However, businesses in both sectors which tried to recruit at the end of 2021 said they had experienced difficulties in hiring new staff.

Northamptonshire Chamber’s QES is part of the biggest and most representative survey of its kind in the UK. QES data is used by the Bank of England to inform interest rate decisions, by the Treasury to help formulate economic policy and by international finance institutions to assess the UK’s economy.

Sean added: “We’d like to thank all the businesses which took the time to complete our latest QES because these findings strengthen our voice when we are lobbying on behalf of Northamptonshire’s firms at a local and national level.”

Northamptonshire Chamber’s next QES will be open to businesses between 14 February and 10 March.