October 19 2015 @ 13:00 by Alison Cowie
The pace of growth among North East firms slowed in Quarter 3 of 2015, according to the North East Chamber of Commerce’s Quarterly Economic Survey (QES).
The survey scores UK sales and orders, investment and workforce activity.
While the survey still shows growth across all main indicators, the pace has slowed after 18 months in which the survey regularly reported record highs.
The slowdown can be attributed to a number of factors including the fall in the price of oil, turbulence in global markets and continued reductions in public spending.
But there are some more positive signs, with confidence for the next 12 months showing a slight increase, and scores for export sales and orders also rising – though remaining well below levels seen a year ago.
NECC director of policy, Ross Smith, said: “It is disappointing to see a slowdown in growth, but certainly not alarming. Confidence levels for the longer term remain high.” “
We have many members involved in the offshore industry who have been hit by the fall in the oil price, and our exporters are facing tough conditions across a series of global markets at the moment. Additionally, the public sector, which is an important customer for many of our members, continues to face spending cuts.
“It’s important to remember that the survey still shows our members increasing sales, jobs and investment, and coming on the back of very high growth levels for the past 18 months, that has to be a good thing. But this is a reminder that we can’t ever take that for granted.”