Bradford businesses have shown more signs of confidence and growth as the economic recovery begins to stretch its legs.
Bradford Chamber of Commerce reports that its latest quarterly economic survey shows more businesses are increasing their sales levels, turnover and investment plans, especially in manufacturing. Among other questions, the survey asked whether company order books are more favourable than three months previous, what recruitment activity is expected to take place, and what factors are of most concern.
Manufacturers reported the stronger upturn in sales increases, and this was reflected in turnover and confidence feedback. This has led to enhanced investment plans within the sector, although services also reported some positives here too. Labour market activity still shows no sign of any significant boost, and there are no more firms operating at full capacity than there were three months ago.
Manufacturers also reported less concern towards the cost of raw materials, although this was countered with rising wages and other overheads. In the service sector, there were no rising pressures to raise prices.
Bradford’s results were echoed throughout West & North Yorkshire, and repeated nationally too by the British Chambers of Commerce.
Paul Mackie, President of Bradford Chamber, said: “The news from the members’ survey is that the recovery is continuing. That’s very welcome news of course, but it doesn’t mean that we should take our foot off the gas. There are still great pressures on business – whether that’s keeping control of budgets, fending off increasing competition or finding new orders. So the Chamber will continue to lobby those in positions of influence in coming months to secure the best possible conditions for all of us to do business.”