End-of-year sales were strong in Northamptonshire despite uncertainty, says Chamber of Commerce

Northamptonshire Chamber of Commerce chief executive Paul Griffiths.
Northamptonshire Chamber of Commerce chief executive Paul Griffiths.

Northamptonshire’s economy remains strong despite political uncertainty over the future of Britain, according to the Chamber of Commerce.

An end-of-year poll for the fourth quarter of 2018 has shown the county's businesses are largely confident about their sales between September and December.

The survey shows a rise in domestic and overseas sales and orders, and two-thirds of businesses said they expected to see their turnover increase during the next 12 months.

However, firms indicated they had slowed their efforts to make investments and were having difficulties finding suitable candidates for jobs.

The Quarterly Economic Survey (QES) is carried out by Northamptonshire's Chamber of Commerce to gauge how well businesses are performing.

Northamptonshire Chamber of Commerce chief executive Paul Griffiths said: “Results this quarter remain largely positive with one or two signs that companies are remaining slightly cautious due to the economic climate and the future that Brexit holds.

“Businesses don’t like uncertainty so we would hope to see improvements once negotiations with the EU progress over the next quarter and through the course of 2019 as more clarity is provided which gives business the confidence to invest and grow.

“Across the UK business confidence has been falling but overall the Northamptonshire economy remains largely optimistic, possibly as a result of the insulating effect of the county’s strong international operations.”

QES data is used by the Bank of England to inform interest rate decisions, by the Treasury to help formulate economic policy and by international finance institutions to assess the UK’s economy.