British businesses well placed for growth in 2015
Businesses in the UK enjoyed a strong Q4 in 2014 and are confident about prospects in 2015.
It seems that British business continues to enjoy a productive climate as firms reported strong growth in Q4 of 2014 to conclude a positive year for traders all round, according to the British Chambers of Commerce’s latest Quarterly Economic Survey report.
The survey is the largest of its kind and includes responses from just under 7,000 businesses across the UK.
Despite recent signs of a slowdown, the UK’s manufacturing and services sectors recorded increases in the balances of domestic sales, growing 36 per cent and 38 per cent, respectively.
“It is particularly pleasing to see the manufacturing sector bounce back, despite signs of a slowdown in recent months,” said John Longworth, director general of the BCC.
“British businesses are well placed to grow in 2015 – a testament to their hard-work and resilience,” he added.
Hiring, investment intentions hit record highs in Q4 2014
Indeed, the report continued to highlight the burgeoning UK recovery further, as figures illustrated that firms went on a recruiting spree in the final three months of 2014, with the hiring intentions rate at an all-time high in both the manufacturing and services sectors.
Furthermore, investment intentions also broke records as a record number of manufacturers looked to invest in training their staff in Q4 while firms investing in plant and machinery also reached historic highs.
“With employment and investment intentions at historically high levels, British businesses are gearing up for a big year in 2015,” explained Mr Longworth.
“It is now vitally important that firms are able to convert their growth ambitions into reality. Strengthening our business finance system, which constrains the growth aspirations of too many firms, will remain a decisive factor in securing a sustainable recovery,” he continued.
However, while all this good news must be taken with a pinch of caution, according to the BCC’s chief economist, David Kern, as “a slowdown in economic growth may yet occur in 2015 and 2016, despite increased strength and optimism from businesses”.
He explains that GDP expansion is easing and the UK should rebalance its economy towards net exports and investments instead of using consumer spending to fuel growth.
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