I was pleased to see according to the FSB’s “Small Voice of Business” for this quarter, that business confidence in our region is increasing. The Chancellor’s Autumn Statement cancelled the 3p increase in fuel duty due to start this January, cut corporation tax by 1% to 2014/2015, increased the annual investment allowance to £250,000 and referred to the creation of a Business Bank intended to assist certain businesses financially. Perhaps we are seeing early signs of its effect.
The British Chambers Quarterly Economic Report refers to resilience by British business and a confidence that the outlook will improve. I am glad that both the manufacturing and services sector have shown signs of recovery and the report’s statement that “the marked increase in confidence in Q4, in both sectors, reinforces our (the British Chambers’) view that the economy will recover slowly in 2013” is extremely heartening. This is substantiated by the British Chambers’ assertion that GDP figures for the first quarter of 2012 were in fact better than those figures published by the ONS for the same period. The Report recommends the same strategy as that pursued by the Government to generate economic growth. It suggests a “firm adherence to cutting the fiscal deficit, with effective policies aimed at enabling the private sector to drive recovery and create jobs.” I hope this strategy is effective in creating growth soon.
The Reports are at: