Quarterly Economic Survey reveals steady growth in economy

Growth in the Merseyside economy remains steady, albeit slower than the end of last year, according to the latest Quarterly Economic Survey by Liverpool & Sefton Chambers.

Brian McCann
Pictured: MC Vanguard
Partner Brian McCann

Balances are lower in exports and investment, while difficulties in recruiting suitable staff have increased markedly in the service sector – a key point of concern given the region’s ongoing debates concerning skills in the workforce.

While there is no cause for alarm within the slowing of growth for the first quarter, it does demonstrate that the economic recovery is far from complete and that sustaining such growth is dependent on increasing investment by government to support business exports and capital investment, while a focus on work-readiness in young people has to be a priority for the new Government.

The latest results also indicate that uncertainty over the General Election and the question of EU membership does not appear to have impeded business confidence on turnover and profitability.

Locally, there remains a compelling case for a city region plan that puts business growth at the centre of its aspirations and ensures that Liverpool and the Liverpool City Region are suitably prepared to take ownership of its own destiny through the impending opportunities provided by devolution.

Brian McCann, partner at MC Vanguard and sponsors of the Liverpool Quarterly Economic Survey and Chair of the Liverpool Chamber of Commerce Finance Committee, added: “2014 was an exceptional year for our economic indicators and it is no surprise that there has been a little contraction in growth for the three months in question.

“The need for businesses to invest in training and equipment, recruit the right staff and generate custom, both domestically and overseas, remain the key priorities for the economy in the city region.”Jenny Stewart, Liverpool & Sefton Chambers chief executive, said: “These results are encouraging for our city region, given they are, at worst, on a par with the national (British Chambers of Commerce) results and, in several areas, actually exceed the national performance.

“Clearly there are some areas of concern concerning manufacturing and skills shortages, but the strength of our local service sector and overall confidence barometer suggests that businesses in our region remain optimistic about their prospects for the coming year.”

This article was originally published by Liverpool & Sefton Chambers of Commerce.  You can read more about the QES Results here.

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