Economy is on the up in South Yorkshire

BUSINESS was good for South Yorkshire firms during the second quarter of this year, according to new figures.

The business economy of the Sheffield City Region — which includes Rotherham — had a positive outlook, according to the data.

The Sheffield City Region Quarterly Economic Survey, which is compiled by the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), four Chambers of Commerce — including the Barnsley and Rotherham Chamber — and Sheffield University Management School, reveals that sales were up and so was recruitment.

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The study, which is based on 400 responses from firms across the region, said that manufacturing businesses saw improved export sales as well as an increase in advance orders.

Although service sector companies saw a slight decrease in domestic and overseas sales from the previous quarter, they experienced an increase in cash flow like the manufacturing sector.

Both sectors said they undertook recruitment over the last quarter, with a slight rise in recruitment in the manufacturing sector. 

This was predominantly for full-time permanent positions in manufacturing and temporary part-time jobs in services.

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While fewer manufacturers said they intended to invest in training from the previous quarter, more firms in the service sector said they would.

Both sectors believed that turnover would improve over the next 12 months.

The main concerns for businesses in the second quarter was the EU referendum, red tape and the provision of superfast broadband.

Prof Andrew Simpson, of Sheffield University Management School, said: “Overall the results show a confident regional view of the economy.

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“The forward-looking predictions are likely to see some measure of fluctuation in the short term following the referendum, and the next quarter’s survey will be critical in understanding the effects of the vote to leave the EU.”

Sir Nigel Knowles, chair of the LEP, welcomed the figures and said they would help develop business strategy.

He said: “These positive results from the Sheffield City Region’s business community will help us to continue to influence strategy and inform the Sheffield City Region’s approach to local, regional and national decision-makers and foreign direct investors.

“The Quarterly Economic Survey helps us to shape policy and our support for our valuable businesses here in the region.

“With these results driving us forward, we will continue to work together with the business community as we further solidify our position as a truly competitive centre of business excellence.”