Chamber Survey Says: Manufacturing is Thriving Across Coventry & Warwickshire

Manufacturing in Coventry and Warwickshire is thriving – and it’s not just major companies such as Jaguar Land Rover that are seeing the benefit.

That’s the key finding of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce’s Quarterly Economic Survey (QES) which it produces in partnership with Warwickshire County Council’s Economy and Skills team.

The survey feeds into the British Chambers of Commerce’s national QES and is used as a barometer for the whole economy.

Business confidence among manufacturers across Coventry and Warwickshire rose to a remarkable 82.9 – up by 6.9 points from the first quarter of 2016. In the service sector it dropped by 3.2 points to 75.6 but that is still way above the balance score of 50 which would mean there were an equal number of companies believing the economy was going to better or worse.

In manufacturing, companies are reporting rising orders domestically (up to a score of 69.9 from 61.3) and in exports (from 67.5 to 70.2) in the past quarter.

Domestic orders fell slightly in the service sector but held up better when it came to exports.

Dave Ayton-Hill, who heads Warwickshire County Council’s Economy and Skills team, said Brexit and the resulting fall in the pound had impacted on the regional economy.

He said: “The depreciation of the pound appears to be pulling the economy in two directions. On the one hand, businesses in the manufacturing sector are seeing strong growth both from overseas markets and on domestic orders.

“Those domestic orders could be increasing because their clients are seeing an upturn in exports.

“The service sector does, however, appear to be feeling the pinch slightly as price inflation is pushing past income growth and, therefore, reducing the spending power of consumers.

“The overall economic outlook index for the region is down slightly but is still significantly higher than regional and national comparators which means the Coventry and Warwickshire economy remains strong and buoyant.”

More findings and an economic outlook will be presented at an event at the Holiday Inn Kenilworth on Tuesday, July 25 between 8am and 10am. Speakers include Dave Ayton-Hill and David Bharier, of the British Chambers of Commerce, as well as Louise Bennett, chief executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce.

Louise said: “With more than 500 responses to this QES, it’s fair to say it’s a very accurate barometer of our regional economy.

“The results make fascinating reading and it’s great to see that manufacturing is growing in this area and is confident about its ability to grow in the future.

“The likes of Jaguar Land Rover are a big part of that but what we are seeing is many other manufacturers thriving in our area and growing their order books.

 “We are very much looking forward to the event on July 25 which will feature expert speakers who will provide context for these results.”

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