Business confidence in Gloucestershire surges to near-record high
Business confidence in the Gloucestershire has risen to a near-record high since a quarterly survey began in 2004, despite record falls in sales in the past 12 months.
We found that business confidence across the County had surged to a near-record high. This was likely a result of optimism surrounding the vaccination programme, which has fuelled expectations of a sharp rebound in economic activity set to last into 2022.
Conditions remained difficult for businesses, though the County could see increased levels of domestic tourism if international travel restrictions continue, which could benefit some of the region’s businesses.
Nearly half of those surveyed cited customer demand as a growing challenge, which was among the highest rates in the UK and is over 20 percentage points above its rate from a year ago.
Meanwhile, late payments were a more pressing issue for three in 10 companies. The proportion of businesses experiencing this problem has almost doubled from a year ago.
Uncertainties remain for businesses in Gloucestershire around the shape and pace that economic recovery will take. However, domestic sales are set to increase by 7.7%, the fastest rate seen since the BCM began in 2004, while exports are expected to rise by 4.4%, both sharper than the national forecast.
Employment is also set to increase by 2.4% while profits are forecast to increase by 6.7%.
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