Manufacturers in Coventry and Warwickshire are more buoyant after the first quarter of 2011 than firms in the service sector.

The Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce’s first Quarterly Economic Survey of the year shows 67 per cent of manufacturers in the region are predicting a turnover rise in the next 12 months compared to 51 per cent in services.

Both figures are higher than in the Quarterly Economic Survey conducted at the end of 2010 showing a small rise in confidence since then.

Almost 200 firms from across the region responded to the survey, which acts as the Chamber’s barometer of business confidence in the region.

Louise Bennett, chief executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “It’s pleasing to see that confidence is improving, especially in manufacturing. It is absolutely crucial that the economy becomes more balanced than it has been for many years and that we bolster our manufacturing base.

“It’s good to see confidence also rising slightly in the service sector across Coventry and Warwickshire because it was falling towards the back end of last year, partially because of the impending Government cuts. Overall, it was a positive survey for the region but nobody is getting carried away with these figures and we are still some way off being able to say that we are on the way to a firm, stable economic recovery.”

Recruitment plans remain constant but businesses, particularly in the service sector, are reluctant to pledge that they are about to take on new staff.

Only 17 per cent of service based businesses are expecting to increasing numbers with 75 per cent saying there staffing levels will remain the same. The same goes for investment in the service sector with 71 per cent of business saying there was no change to their plans for investment in training.

In manufacturing, there are set to be new jobs created in the next quarter according to the survey, with 42 per cent of businesses saying staffing numbers would go up and 48 per cent saying they would remain the same.

Thirty-eight per cent of manufacturers said they were revising upwards their investment plans in plant and machinery and 28 per cent said they would invest more in training.

Ms Bennett added: “The figures show that there is optimism within business in Coventry and Warwickshire, particularly in manufacturing. That said, neither sector is ready to commit to major investment yet because there is still some degree of uncertainty. The Budget last month was business friendly and welcome but companies are still waiting to see the full impact of the Government’s austerity measures before they make medium and long-term decisions on recruitment and investment.”