Our latest Quarterly Economic Survey (QES) for the third quarter of 2015 illustrates that Northamptonshire’s manufacturing sector is showing signs of recovery.
Manufacturers have been telling us via the survey that UK sales and orders have been declining since the start of 2014, however Northamptonshire is not alone. This downward trend in domestic activity has been reflected nationally by our partners at the British Chambers of Commerce(BCC).
Now a different picture of the economy is emerging in Northamptonshire from the QES results which shows that manufacturers have experienced a rebound after a contraction in national sales and orders. The percentage of businesses in this sector reporting increases in national activity nearly doubled in the three months to September, from 26% to 43%, albeit a weaker pace than the service sector.
Although the percentage represents just under half of manufacturing respondents, this improvement in national performance has led to manufacturers becoming more optimistic about their prospects and this in turn influences recruitment and investment.
‘This improvement in national performance has led to manufacturers becoming more optimistic about their prospects and this in turn influences recruitment and investment’
Research from the QES for Q3 published by Northamptonshire Chamber on 1 October also reveal a significant increase in the number of manufacturers upskilling their workforce; 95% of respondents operating in this sector cited investment in training had remained consistent with the prior quarter or increased, compared to 89% of service sector firms.
With confidence remaining high in both sectors (well above 90%), the county’s firms should be proud of their tremendous work and the valuable contribution they make in strengthening our Northamptonshire economy.
This is why events such as the prestigious Chamber Awards organised by BCC are important in recognising the achievements and successes of businesses and their vital role in driving the economy forward. It enables these companies to lead by example. It also encourages continued growth and the adoption of practices that create a culture of improvement, innovation and change.
‘The prestigious Chamber Awards organised by BCC are important in recognising the achievements and successes of businesses and their vital role in driving the economy forward’
For me, it is fantastic news to hear that Northamptonshire Chamber member ACS Office Solutions has been crowned winners in the East Midlands heats of the 2015 Chamber Awards. The Northampton based company won the ‘Best Use of Technology to Improve Business Performance’ and will now represent the region in the national finals in London. We wish them the best of luck on November 26.
So let’s continue to celebrate the success of our local businesses in the 2015 Northamptonshire Business Excellence Awards.
This event now in its 25th year, is organised by the Northampton Chronicle & Echo and Northamptonshire Telegraph, in association with Northamptonshire Chamber and sponsored by Stanair Industrial Door Services. It brings to the public spotlight the county’s diverse and successful businesses and the talented individuals behind these companies.
‘Let’s continue to celebrate the success of our local businesses in the 2015 Northamptonshire Business Excellence Awards’
I’m pleased to say that I will be sitting on the judging panel and this year the Chamber is supporting the Business of the Year (over 25 employees) category.
Entry to the awards are free and open to all Northamptonshire based businesses. The deadline for entries is Friday 9 October.
There’s still time to enter so don’t miss out on this wonderful opportunity for your firm to receive the recognition it deserves.