Posted: 14.10.20 at 10:43 by The Editor
The latest Quarterly Economic Survey by the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, showed a trend of improvement across the region, albeit to a level that was still far below pre-Covid levels.
The survey, which is sponsored by Prime Accountants Group, is analysed by Warwickshire County Council and feeds into the national survey by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC).
The previous survey saw business confidence fall to 38.3 in the service sector, this has risen to 54.4 in this quarter. A similar increase was seen in manufacturing which rose from 39.0 to 47.7.
There were improvements across the indicators of domestic sales, overseas sales, investment and cashflow, and employment in both the service sector and manufacturing. All were still, however, way short of the levels prior to the Coronavirus crisis and were all still below 50.
The Markits Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) uses 50 as the balance point, where anything above means the majority feel positive about the market, thus anything below is negative.
Louise Bennett, chief executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “Confidence has improved but only relatively speaking. We are comparing this quarter with Q2 when the economy was, largely, in hibernation.
“Businesses were, to a considerable degree, in a state of shock and it’s no surprise that almost every single economic indicator dropped to a record low.
“The third quarter has seen many areas of the economy beginning to tentatively reopen and that has generated something of a recovery in confidence but the overall economic outlook is still short of where we were prior to the crisis.
“It’s also very difficult to gauge right now if the confidence that businesses are experiencing is thanks to the huge levels of Government intervention.
“We must also acknowledge that many businesses remain unable to operate, especially those in the leisure and events sector which have been affected by the most recent Government restrictions.
“So, the final quarter of 2020 is going to remain challenging with the ongoing Coronavirus crisis coupled with the looming end to the Brexit transition.
“It’s vitally important that Government keeps its options open in terms of stimulating the economy and remains agile enough to support businesses as the crisis continues to evolve."