There are signs that some crumb of confidence is returning for businesses in Coventry and Warwickshire according to a leading survey – but they are not yet convinced that the economic recovery is under way.
The Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce’s Quarterly Economic Survey is seen as one of the definitive barometers for the way businesses are performing in the region.
The results for the second quarter of 2009 show a slight improvement on the first. More than 200 firms from across manufacturing and the service sector took part and the results were fed into a national survey.
In the quarter ending in March, just 13.4 per cent of service sector firms had seen a rise in sales, whereas 20 per cent of companies were reporting a rise to the end of June.
In manufacturing, 11 per cent of firms were saying sales were up compared to just 3.8 per cent to the end of March. Those trading internationally had seen slightly improved figures with 18 per cent reporting an increase and 42 per cent saying they had remained constant to the quarter ending in June.
In the service sector, 34 per cent of businesses are confident that turnover will improve in the next 12 months and 31 per cent believe it will remain the same.
The picture is slightly less optimistic in manufacturing, with 30 per cent predicting a rise in turnover and 22 per cent expecting it to remain constant.
Alan Durham, the director of policy at the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “This is less bleak than the last survey we carried out and certainly suggests that companies feel the worst of the recession is over – but that does not necessarily mean the economic recovery is fully underway.
“There are still many issues putting severe strain on companies including a lack of cashflow and the difficulty in accessing finance.
“Manufacturing is still suffering more acutely than the service sector although those trading abroad are performing a little better.
“So the recovery may still be some way off but this is a more positive survey than our last. That, however, was extremely downbeat.
“It appears that the very worst might be over but businesses are still adopting a very cautious approach to when they think the recession will be over.”