Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Area 'Benefits from Improving Economy' ; Confidence Is Growing among Region's firmsData Show UK Avoided Double-Dip Recession

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Area 'Benefits from Improving Economy' ; Confidence Is Growing among Region's firmsData Show UK Avoided Double-Dip Recession

Article excerpt

GREATER Manchester is both contributing to - and benefiting from - Britain's economic recovery.

That is the conclusion of a business survey released today, aimed at providing a snapshot of the region's economy.

The latest Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce quarterly economic survey saw more than 700 firms quizzed about their confidence and future plans.

Dr John Ashcroft, the Chamber's newly-appointed chief economist, said growth may have been as high as one per cent in the second quarter of the year, the period covered by the study.

He said: "Our latest results suggest another period of growth into the second quarter of the year and the prospects for employment continue to improve, albeit at a modest pace.

"Output was slightly higher this quarter driven by higher performance in manufacturing deliveries at home and abroad, producing an increase in confidence in turnover and profits in the months ahead.

"The service sector was driven forward by export activity in both orders and deliveries.

"Overall, these results suggest the UK economy is recovering and Greater Manchester is a contributor to and a beneficiary of that trend."

Looking forward, the number of firms expecting to create new jobs in the current quarter ticked-up one point to +18 per cent, meaning 18 per cent more firms expected to create jobs than those who did not.

That was driven by a much strengthened balance from the construction sector, which was up 12 points at +27 per cent.

Firms' investment intentions remained flat and some way short of pre-recession levels at +4per cent for the service sector and +9per cent for manufacturers.

But confidence levels have continued to tick up, again driven by the construction industry, which saw a 20 point increase to +31 per cent.

QES data also suggest inflation may fall faster than most analysts expect, with fears about inflation falling in both the manufacturing and service sectors. …

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