Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Helping Hand with Growth Plans

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Helping Hand with Growth Plans

Article excerpt

Byline: Rory Whaling

BUSINESSES with ambitious management teams that have a desire to grow their company play a fundamental role in the resurgence of the North East economy.

It's concerning, then, to note the findings of most recent Business in Britain report from Lloyds Bank.

The research showed that businesses' confidence for the next six months has faltered in the North East, on fears that falling UK and global demand are the biggest threats to their fortunes in 2016.

The Business in Britain report, now in its 24th year, gathers the views of 1,500 UK companies and tracks the overall "balance" of opinion on a range of important performance and confidence measures, weighing up the percentage of firms that are positive in outlook against those that are negative.

Since the previous report in July 2015, business confidence in the North East has fallen to 27%, down slightly from 30%.

More than two-fifths - 42% - in the North East identified weaker UK demand as the main threat to their business over the next six months, a rise from 35% in July 2015.

The number of businesses who cited weaker overseas demand as the biggest threat to their business remained unchanged since July at 8%.

One particular sector which has experienced a prolonged period of uncertainty throughout 2015 is manufacturing.

Expansion has slowed, though the latter half of the year showed signs of improvement.

The industry is of particularly vital significance to the North East, since it employs more than 124,000 people and accounts for 16% of the local economy, with PS6.4bn worth of manufacturing output coming from the region.

It is, therefore, essential that the area's manufacturers are supported with strong foundations for growth to overcome any uncertainty they may be feeling. …

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