Businesses in Dorset are being urged to use the results of an influential quarterly survey to gain key insights into the local economy.
Findings of the latest Dorset Quarterly Economic Survey (QES) showed that 38% of respondents described the economic climate as strong/positive or good while half said that it was okay.
DCCI, the voice of business in Dorset, is the only chamber in the county accredited to the BCC.
It is keen to take a partnership approach to share survey data with such organisations as Dorset County Council, the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), Bournemouth University (BU), local authorities and its affiliated chambers of commerce countywide.
Dorset County Council has provided an in-depth analysis of the latest data.
The findings were for the second quarter of 2016, as an important indicator of business sentiment in the lead up to, and first week after, the EU referendum.
DCCI chief executive Ian Girling said: “Dorset businesses have remained positive in the face of Brexit generated uncertainty.
“This focus on future growth and opportunities has continued in the wake of a softening economic performance post-vote, revised economic forecasts and the recent interest rate cut.
“As the county’s leading business support organisation, DCCI is dedicated to helping its members as they drive the local economy.
“We are happy to work with partners to share the survey data and help give valuable insights into the local economy and how businesses can be supported going forward.”
The Dorset QES results included:
- More respondents expected turnover and profitability to improve than decline
- Some 64% of respondents reported difficulty in recruitment
- Domestic sales saw a drop over the first quarter with more respondents reporting sales worsening than improving although almost half remained static
- More employers reported employment growth than shrinkage
- Some 55% of employers attempted to recruit – down slightly on 60% in Q1
- About 42% of respondents were operating at full capacity – broadly the same as in Q1
- The top local issues were competition, skills gaps and infrastructure
- Some 24% of respondents indicated that the cost or availability of local housing was a barrier to growth
The national BCC results suggested ‘uninspiring’ economic growth with figures for services and manufacturing firms indicating low levels of growth.
It has also called on the Government to take the important domestic decisions that underpin investment and business confidence, such as direct investment in the transport, energy, housing and digital schemes.
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