Following the release of the latest results of the South Yorkshire Quarterly Economic Survey for Q1 2022, CEOs of Doncaster, Sheffield and Barnsley & Rotherham Chambers of Commerce.

In a joint statement, said: “It’s a testament to the strength of our businesses that despite the tough backdrop, many remain optimistic about their prospects for growth. Investment plans are holding firm. Growth in sales from UK customers remains strong, if a little slower than the previous quarter. This mirrors the national picture with business sales, cash flow and investment all close to UK averages.

“The major story is the relentless rise in the cost of doing business. The majority of businesses responding to our landmark survey expect prices to rise in the next three months. The ongoing rise in prices for raw materials and fuel explains some of this sentiment, but a hike in national insurance payments and the change to the energy bill cap were also on the horizon.  We saw some positive moves to address rising costs in the Spring Statement like the cut in fuel duty, but it’s not too late to move further – introducing an energy cap for small businesses would broaden the range of companies receiving support.

“Our survey shows cost pressures encourage some businesses to innovate.  But the bigger driver of innovation – which underpins the long-term health of our economy – are the changes businesses make to serve more customers and bigger markets. On this, government can make a big, positive step by awarding Doncaster as the home of the new Great British Railways HQ. South Yorkshire’s rail and logistics cluster has huge growth potential for our region and the UK. GBR would open up many new opportunities for investment and industry collaboration.”

To help South Yorkshire Chambers understand the true realities facing businesses, please take the time to complete the Quarterly Economic Survey.  The results help South Yorkshire Chambers ensure business interests are represented by key decision makers – on a local, regional and national level. To complete the survey for Q2, visit your local Chambers website from the 16th May 2022.

Highlights from Q1 survey results show: 

The share of firms reporting growth in domestic fell from 46 per cent to 38 per cent but the greater number 47 per cent saw no change. The share of firms reporting a decline in exports exceeded those reporting growth for the first time since Q1 2021.

South Yorkshire businesses continue to report a tight labour market. Businesses indicate strong intentions to hire but most who try experience recruitment difficulties (93 per cent).

Pressure on finances are strongly evident: 21 per cent of businesses report worsening cashflow this quarter, compared to 19 per cent over the last three quarters. 61 per cent of businesses expect prices to increase in the next three months, the highest proportion since the beginning of 2020.

To read the full report visit https://bit.ly/QESQ12022

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