Uncertainties around Brexit and slowing consumer spend impacted businesses in our region in the last quarter, according to results from the latest Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce’s Quarterly Economic Survey (QES).

The survey revealed that businesses across the districts of Halifax, Huddersfield and Wakefield are still seeking clarity over the ongoing Brexit debate and what it will mean for them and the local and UK economies.

Business confidence has seen a decline on the previous quarter, with turnover expectations down by 10 percentage points to 44% and profit expectations falling to 32%.

Finance expectations, however, have increased, with cashflow up to 20%, capital investment at 32% and investment in training up to 24%.

Now in its 30th year and in collaboration with the British Chambers of Commerce, the quarterly business barometer survey tracks trends in various aspects of economic activity including domestic and export sales, past and future employment, recruitment and confidence in future turnover and profitability.

Exports have seen the largest decline in Q4 2019, with sales and orders both down on the previous quarter. UK orders also took a hit down 3 percentage points to 16%.

Recruitment in the manufacturing sector rose, with the number of companies reporting an increased headcount, but expectations on this subject declined by five percentage points to 18%.

Managing Director of the Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce, Martin Hathaway, comments:

The QES results for Q4 2019 reveal that our region’s economy ended 2019 in stagnation amid continued uncertainty, rising business costs and a slowing global economy. The majority of the figures are worryingly low, with real, hardworking businesses across Mid Yorkshire being affected.

 “The impact of economic and political uncertainty is hitting regional businesses hard, so we’re continuing to urge the government for more clarity and more support as we head into the new decade. Jobs and businesses across the region are potentially on the line and more must be done to help them prepare for the future.”

For further information, visit www.mycci.co.uk.