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Recruitment on the rise for county's manufacturers
HIRING and investment picks up for manufacturing firms in Northamptonshire as export activity increases, according to the latest Quarterly Economic Survey from Northamptonshire Chamber of Commerce.
The results in the report, which covers the three months from July to September 2016 show that the manufacturing sector reported an increase in their headcount over the third quarter of the year, continuing their upward trajectory.
A total of 85% of manufacturing firms said their workforce had either increased or remained the same compared to the previous quarter. And more than half had attempted to recruit new staff in that time.
It was a different picture for UK sales however, with a decline in domestic sales activity across all industries during the same three month period.
Manufacturing firms reported a net balance figure of -31%, down from +16% in the previous quarter. For the service sector, the balance figure of 17% is the lowest recorded since Q2 2013.
UK orders also saw a marked decrease across the board.
But despite this, manufacturing firms indicated a marked improvement in investment plans during the third quarter of 2016.
Investment intentions for these companies showed a rebound from -11% in Q2 to positive 15% in Q3. And the same firms reported an increase in increase in confidence as determined by turnover.
For the service sector, confidence as determined by turnover decreased over the same time frame, but 80% reported that confidence as measured by profitability had increased or was consistent with the previous quarter. Also 65% of service sector firms had an increase in profitability in that time.
Chamber chief executive Paul Griffiths said: “It is unsurprising to see a decline in domestic sales activity following the Brexit vote in June, which has caused uncertainty for the whole UK economy.
“We await urgent changes from the new Prime Minister and her newly instated government to reassure our businesses and create a much needed stability.
“Despite this, I am glad to see an increase in export sales across the board and a wary confidence still shining through among our county’s firms.”
The survey for Q3 2016 was conducted from August 22 to September 12 this year and contains responses from 53 businesses employing 1,576 people across the county.
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