Confidence improving amongst Coventry and Warwickshire firms

A FULLER domestic order book will fuel an improved 2013 for firms across Coventry and Warwickshire, according to a new economic survey.

The Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce’s Quarterly Economic Survey acts as a barometer to the local economy and feeds into the British Chambers of Commerce’s national poll of firms.

In the third quarter of 2012, both service sector and manufacturing firms were reporting a weakness in UK sales and orders but those exporting were seeing good overseas orders coming in.

In the fourth quarter, export sales are predicted to remain strong in the next three months but the biggest improvement is on the domestic front.

In the third quarter, just 12% of manufacturers said they had seen an increase in advanced domestic orders but 40% were reporting a rise in the final quarter of the year.

On the export front, half the manufacturers surveyed last time said advanced orders were up and this time that had risen to 55%.

Confidence has risen dramatically among manufacturers in Coventry and Warwickshire when it comes to turnover. Just 32% thought turnover would increase in the next year when surveyed in quarter three.

That has jumped to 66% of firms in manufacturing in the fourth quarter who believe turnover will increase in the next 12 months.

The service sector has also grown in confidence. In the third quarter, 36% of companies saw advanced domestic orders increase. That was up to 40% this quarter.

Louise Bennett, chief executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “These figures are much more positive than quarter three and perhaps that is down to two things. Individual companies we polled have seen a good rise in advanced orders and, at the same time, they have seen the national figures on GDP improve dramatically in the previous quarter which has bolstered confidence.

“Overall, we cannot become complacent as we were starting from quite a drop in confidence in the previous quarter but, that said, this is positive to hear from businesses in both manufacturing and services in Coventry and Warwickshire.”