Cautious Welcome For Economic Survey
8:39am 16th July 2014
(Updated 8:40am 16th July 2014)
The leader of Dorset's countywide business support organisation has warned there are still challenges ahead after the results of a new economic survey.
Ian Girling, Chief Executive of Dorset Chamber of Commerce and Industry has given a cautious welcome to the British Chamber of Commerce's quarterly review.
Its results from 7,000 business nationwide - including many DCCI members - pointed to continued growth although many indicators were down on the first quarter of 2014.
Mr Girling said: "The national situation is mirrored in Dorset.
"We are still moving in the right direction with the recovery continuing although the pace slowed slightly in the second quarter of the year as we settle into a period of sustained growth.
"There is still some way to go and challenges to overcome before we can say that we have completely put the worst recession in living memory behind us."
DCCI, the voice of business in Dorset with 700 members representing 37,000 employees in multiple sectors, is the only county chamber accredited with the BCC.
Ian added: "Dorset businesses continue to do themselves proud as they show dedication and resilience to ensure that the economic recovery continues in the county."
Key findings in the survey showed three indicators at record highs for manufacturing - domestic sales (+42%), profitability confidence (+51%) and capacity utilisation (+46%) - but this had dropped from six all-time highs recorded in the first quarter.
All export and investment indicators fell for manufacturing and services although most were still above pre-recession levels.
Some 18% of respondents were concerned about interest rate rises compared with 16% in the first quarter.
Separate manufacturing figures for May from the Office for National Statistics recently showed output down 1.3% in May but up 3.7% on the year.
The BCC said that its survey showed the recovery continuing at a satisfactory pace but progress towards rebalancing the economy was inadequate with concerns about falls in exports and investment as well as rises in consumer spending.
Mr Girling said interest rates and a looming general election were among the challenges ahead.
"A rise in interest rates in the short term remains a major concern.
"We also need to be aware that we are beginning to approach an election.
"Any political manoeuvring and populist policies over the coming months could impact on the economy in the long term."