New research finds business confidence plummeting in Nottinghamshire

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The East Midlands Chamber’s Quarterly Economic Survey found that the proportion of companies expecting to see improvements in profitability and turnover over the coming year has fallen by 21% and 17 % respectively between the second and third quarters of 2022.

A lack of optimism about what lies ahead is due to lower sales in the UK and overseas, as well as early orders, as well as an 18% negative change in cash flow from one quarter to the next.

The tightening grip of the “cost of doing business crisis” – driven by rising costs for energy, human resources, raw materials and fuel – means that almost six in ten companies now expect to be forced to raise their own prices, while their intentions to invest and recruit are now slipping.

Chris Hobson presenting the results of the East Midlands Chamber’s Quarterly Economic Survey

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Sales fell between the second and third quarters of the year – falling 16% domestically and 4% overseas – while advance orders also fell 7% in the UK and 3% internationally ; Although there was an 11% increase in the number of companies increasing their workforce between quarters, the outlook for the future is less optimistic with a 15% drop in the proportion of companies planning to increase their workforce . This comes as 73% of companies attempted to recruit in Q3, but, of this cohort, 72% encountered problems filling vacancies among a relatively equal split of professional, skilled manual, unskilled and clerical workers. ; 57% of companies expect to be forced to raise prices (vs. 55% net in Q2) as they grapple with rising costs for utilities, people, raw materials and fuel; Cash flow, after declining for 1% net of companies in the second quarter, is now down for 18% net of companies, marking a negative variation of 19%, while growth opportunities are scarce with 38% at full speed. working capacity; The lack of space at the margins means that investment intentions continue to decline – falling 6% quarter-on-quarter for plant and machinery, and 2% for training; Business confidence plummeted, with the proportion of companies expecting improved profitability and revenue each falling 10% between the second and third quarters.

Chris Hobson, director of policy and external affairs at the East Midlands Chamber, said: “These findings paint a difficult picture for business.

“For the first time, demand indicators – how busy businesses are selling their goods and services – have also fallen, both internationally and here in the UK.

“This is a concern as it suggests the impact of inflation is starting to dampen activity.

“Cash flow is now deteriorating for more companies than it is improving and, given the well-publicized pricing pressures that are now at a critical point for many companies, this all points to the need for immediate action to support businesses.

“We also need a longer-term strategy to build trust and give them the encouragement they need to start making more strategic investment decisions.”

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