Few signs of post-Brexit impact, says Mike Matthews

Mike Matthews

A survey has found the region’s companies are holding steady with no major change since the Brexit vote.

Produced by the North East England Chamber of Commerce since 1995, the Quarterly Economic Survey (QES) is the first major test of the impact of the European referendum.

The results show the vote result may have limited economic growth in the region over the past three months.

None of the main indicators have turned negative, but growth has slowed particularly on plant investment.

This indicator has seen a decline among manufacturers with a score of -5.0 – but when compared to a low of -58.9 this is a relatively mild decrease over the past quarter.

Chamber President and Nifco (UK) managing director Mike Matthews (pictured) said: “This quarter’s results are among the most eagerly awaited since the survey started in 1995 coming on the back of June’s referendum vote to leave the European Union.

“There are, however, few signs of major change taking place in the three months since the vote. There is certainly no indication of recession, and any slowdown has been mild.

“The biggest change reflected in these results is a decline in the score for plant investment. Plans for investment have been flat in the past quarter – but have not decreased in the way some may have expected.

“The score is in negative territory among manufacturers, but as is noted in this report, this is a relatively small decline in historic context.”

David Park, managing director of Park Corporate Insurance Brokers, said: “We have seen no major surge or reduction in business since the Brexit vote.

“Our growth has stayed on the same trajectory as before the referendum and really it is too early to say if there is going to be any real impact or benefit. Being a commercial-only insurance broker allows us to speak with many different types of businesses in the region and I feel that most businesses are in the same position.”

However, exchange rates were cited as the biggest growing concern among respondents, with 49.1% citing this as a bigger concern than three months ago.

The survey was undertaken July–September 2016.

 

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