‘No need to panic’ over slowing growth of North East business

NECC director of policy Ross Smith.
NECC director of policy Ross Smith.

The pace of growth among North East firms slowed in the third quarter of the year, the region’s biggest regular business survey has revealed.

Scores for UK sales and orders, investment and workforce all took a dip in the North East Chamber of Commerce’s Quarterly Economic Survey released today.

It is disappointing to see a slowdown in growth, but certainly not alarming.

Ross Smith

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.

But there were still some more positive signs, with a slight rise in confidence for the next 12 months, and scores for export sales and orders also on the up.

Chamber Director of Policy Ross Smith blamed the slowdown on a range of factors, including the fall in oil price, turbulence in global markets and continued reductions in public spending.

“It is disappointing to see a slowdown in growth, but certainly not alarming,” said Mr Smith.

“Confidence levels for the longer term remain high, but there are several factors affecting business at the moment.

“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 the survey still shows our members increasing sales, jobs and investment.”