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Business is booming at home and abroad, says latest Quarterly Economic Survey
BUSINESSES in Milton Keynes are thriving in both domestic and international markets as we enter the New Year, according to the latest Quarterly Economic Survey report from Milton Keynes Chamber of Commerce.
The business barometer indicates a sharp rebound for UK manufacturing sales and increased export sales across all sectors in the fourth quarter of 2016.
At home, 43% of manufacturing firms said their UK sales had increased over the past three months, compared to 25% in Q3. All of them reported that UK sales had improved or remained the same.
For the service sector, 85% of companies said their UK sales had stayed constant or increased.
Both sectors saw improved UK orders in Q4, as well as impressive increases in export sales - 33% for manufacturers and 18% for those in the service sector.
In order to keep up with demand, all firms surveyed said their workforce would increase or remain in line with the previous quarter going forward, with more than half of manufacturers noting an increase in their in house team in this quarter.
Exchange rates appear to be the biggest cause for concern in external factors for all – unsurprising considering the uncertainty of Brexit over the second half of the year and in the coming months ahead.
Milton Keynes Chamber chief executive Paul Griffiths said: “It is very encouraging to see the success of firms across all markets in the last three months of 2016 and the hiring intentions of our respondents this quarter are also very positive.
“I hope that this optimistic end to the year will also mark the start of a successful New Year which will hopefully also bring some clarity to the Brexit process and settle exchange rates. Only time will tell.”
The Chamber’s policy executive Simon Dishman added: “Given heightened geopolitical tensions, especially in the Middle East – as well as strained relations between the West and Russia – it’s reassuring to see both the manufacturing and services sectors both reporting an increase in export sales and orders. Moreover we will be closely monitoring future UK trade relations with the EU as Brexit negotiation pick up steam during the course of 2016.”
A total of 50 businesses, employing 2,552 people from across Milton Keynes, took part in the review of the final quarter of the year.
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