Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce is encouraging businesses to take part in its latest Quarterly Economic Survey (QES) as the economy faces one of its most testing times.
For over 30 years, the QES has provided a reliable guide to the ups and downs of the UK economy, correctly predicting recessions and identifying economic trends. The Chamber is now hoping more business than ever will take part in the survey so it can give the most detailed picture possible of the current economic situation.
Chris Fletcher, Policy Director at Greater Manchester Chamber, said: “The Quarterly Economic Survey is an unrivalled source of economic data stretching back to 1989. Greater Manchester’s economy has seen many changes over that time and weathered several recessions. Today, we face a unique set of circumstances as businesses not only deal with soaring energy costs and the aftereffects of the Covid pandemic, but also find their way in the post-Brexit world and cope with long-standing issues such as skills shortages.
“We need a wide range of responses to this latest QES so we can get an accurate picture of how all parts of our economy are performing. We’re calling on all Greater Manchester businesses, Chamber members and non-members alike, to take part in this survey and make their voices heard. The results of the QES not only give local businesses an overview of the economy but are also used by national bodies including the Treasury and the Bank of England, so taking part in the survey has national impact.”
The most recent QES, held in November last year, showed a marginal improvement with the regional economy affected by uncertainty over consumer spending and high energy prices. The survey revealed that sales to UK customers had increased in the services and construction sectors but declined dramatically in the manufacturing sector with sales well below the same period in 2021. The survey also showed further weakening in other important indicators such as cash positions, investment intentions and business confidence. Businesses in all three sector groups reported diminishing cash positions, which had hampered their ability to invest in new equipment and machinery. Respondents said they faced higher operational costs but were either unwilling or unable to increase their selling prices, which meant they had to absorb more costs and face lower margins.