The latest economic data from the Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce shows a strong rise in both performance and confidence across the Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield districts.  

The latest Quarterly Economic Survey, completed by the Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce and the West & North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce as part of national British Chambers of Commerce research, showed both service sector firms and manufacturers reporting an increase in overseas sales. 

Both sectors expect to increase their profits in the coming three months and to take on more staff. 

And, after months of stagnation, appetite for investment appears to be creeping back – both into staff training and in capital projects. 

However, progress is still being impeded by cost pressures, with inflation and interest rates placing a significant drag on performance. 

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Martin Hathaway, managing director of Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “It is extremely encouraging to see export sales, employment and investment all on the rise this quarter. 

“With a turbulent economy and various challenges stemming from the war in Ukraine, ongoing Brexit and Covid-19 fallout and uncertainty around HS2 and net zero initiatives, Yorkshire businesses have shown true resilience and skill over the last few months, pioneering our region as the place to do business in the UK.” 

Among service sector firms there was a 15 per cent increase in those firms expecting to grow their profits in the coming quarter. Meanwhile the number of manufacturers expecting the same result grew by two per cent. 

A big growth area was that of overseas sales. Manufacturers who export posted a 15 per cent increase in activity while service sector firms saw sales abroad increase by 11 per cent. 

While the labour market remains tight, both sectors are looking to increase their headcount in the run up to Christmas with service sector businesses seven per cent more likely to take on staff and five per cent more manufacturers looking to do the same. 

After months of decline, manufacturers looking to invest in plant and machinery rose by 22 per cent, while those seeking to invest in training rose by 15 per cent.