Positive Outlook for East Midlands businesses as new research shows boost in sales and orders

Increased sales and orders, a growing confidence in future profitability, and reduced pressure to increase prices are among a series of findings from a new East Midlands survey of over 300 businesses.

Six in 10 respondents to East Midlands Chamber’s Quarterly Economic Survey (Q2, 2024) said they anticipated their turnover to improve this year, with half expecting gains in profitability to follow. An increasing number of businesses were planning to boost their investment in new equipment and training and there was a drop in those reporting difficulties with cashflow.

East Midlands Chamber Head of Special Projects Richard Blackmore said:

“It’s fantastic to see so many measures in our Quarterly Economic Survey pointing to growth for East Midlands businesses, with the data suggesting this will continue over the remainder of the year. What everyone in business wants to see is their turnover and profit going up and price pressures falling and that’s exactly the picture being painted by this data.

For fewer respondents than in the last quarter to say they feel a compulsion to raise prices and for that data to coincide with a drop in inflation this week to 2% is a good combination. Orders are up, both in the UK and overseas, and businesses are increasingly talking up their intentions to invest, especially in plant and machinery. These are all signs that businesses are moving away from the drawn-out days of just ‘getting by’ in the face of tough times and are now looking to push ahead.

It’s worthy of note that just as many East Midlands businesses are saying ‘competition’ is up there with inflation in their list of growing concerns. A healthy economy requires healthy competition between businesses, so this finding again suggests brighter times lie ahead for the rest of 2024.”

Highlights from East Midlands Chamber’s Quarterly Economic Survey Q2, 2024:

  • Six out of ten respondents expected turnover to increase
  • Nearly half of respondents expected profitability to increase
  • One third of respondents expected to raise prices (down from Q4 2023 when the figure was two out of five)
  • Three out of ten respondents reported an increase in overseas sales over the last three months (up from two out ten in Q3, 2023)
  • Just under a quarter of respondents expected overseas orders to increase over the next three months

View the full Economic Survey for Q2, 2024 here

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