The Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce has released new data that reveals the top concerns of Calderdale/Kirklees/Wakefield businesses as Keir Starmer takes the role of Prime Minister.

Inflation (27 per cent) and interest rates (23 per cent) were cited as the most pressing external concerns facing local firms in Q2 2024, while the cost of labour (56 per cent) was named the chief price pressure over this time period.

The data comes from the Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce’s Quarterly Economic Survey (QES) contributes to the national British Chambers of Commerce research, the UK’s largest and longest-running independent business survey which is used by policy makers such as the Bank of England and the Treasury. The research also helps the Mid Yorkshire Chamber and other local and regional bodies campaign for the right business support, at the right time.

Released following Labour’s landslide election victory, the QES Q2 data paints a bleak picture for businesses that need hope for the weeks and months ahead. 26 per cent of service firms and 31 per cent of manufacturers reported decreases in cash flow in Q2, the third consecutive quarter that has seen cash flow in negative territory.

Despite this, domestic sales for manufacturers are now at the highest level since end of 2022, having risen an impressive 17 points since the Q1 survey. Producers also saw their order books head in the right direction, up by three points.  A promising sign as the UK economy also grew by more than initially estimated in the first three months of 2024 as the UK emerged from recession[1].

Service sector firms posted an improving picture too on UK sales, up by two per cent. Order books contracted slightly, having grown for the previous two quarters.

Overall, 42 per cent of manufacturers and 34 per cent of service sector firms improved their sales during the second quarter of this year.

Martin Hathaway, managing director of the Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “It is important to note that this data was collected in the lead up to the general election where businesses were understandably apprehensive about what the future would hold.

“Now that we know the outcome with Labour winning the general election, businesses can start to plan and look ahead with confidence and structure.

“I hope that Labour can deliver on their manifesto promise of being pro-business and pro-worker. Labour’s promise of delivering a reliable, safe, efficient, accessible, affordable and quality transport system is very welcome, but action is needed now.

“Despite the looming uncertainty throughout Q2 I am happy to see that sales are up across the board for firms in our region. I hope that with the right Government support, this will continue to rise.”


[1] https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/articles/c6p2r9xzde4o