Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Survey Reveals Positive Picture of Growing Economy

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Survey Reveals Positive Picture of Growing Economy

Article excerpt

Byline: SURVEY COREENA FORD coreena.ford@ncjmedia.co.uk

NORTH East entrepreneurs are continuing to report positivity within the economy, with pay, prices and capital expenditure all on the up.

As the Office for National Statistics reports a further lift in GDP, to 0.9% in the second quarter of 2014, the latest Entrepreneurs' Forum Business Tracker Survey has been released covering the same period.

Businessmen who took part said they saw positivity throughout key indicators, painting a rosy picture of all aspects of business, including sales, profits, employment, wages, prices and spending.

The survey is conducted and compiled by leading research specialist Acritas, which found that 59% of those who took part reported an increase in overall sales, while 25% said levels had remained the same. Within exports, 28% saw an increase and 47% had a retention of Q2 2013 levels.

A total of 53% reported profit increases and 24% said levels were maintained, and 46% reported an increase in employee numbers with 46% saying levels had not changed.

Prices increased for 24% but remained the same for 68%, and 55% reported an increase in remuneration while 43% said levels were the same.

Within capital expenditure, an increase was reported by 45%, and 45% said levels had remained as they were.

Looking forward to the third quarter, optimism was high, particularly with regards overall sales, with 78% expecting an increase, and 70% actual profit.

Entrepreneurs also identified challenges and barriers to growth, including finding the skilled staff, connections to and from the North East in terms of choice and cost, and finding the right financial package that suits the business.

Nigel Mills, chairman of the Entrepreneurs' Forum in the North East, said: "The outlook amongst entrepreneurs, who are one of the key drivers of our economy, remains positive, although we continue to see those challenges to growth around staff, transport and finance. …

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