Manufacturers enjoy resurgence

Manufacturing firms in Lancashire have seen an upturn in business in the final quarter of 2012, according to the latest figures from the Chamber of Commerce Quarterly Economic Survey, produced in association with Moore & Smalley Chartered Accountants and Business Advisors.

There was also positive news on the employment front. 35% of manufacturers reported that their workforce had increased in the final quarter of 2012, up 7% on Q3. Intentions to recruit moving into the New Year are also good, with 34% of firms expecting their workforce to increase in the next three months, up 13% on the previous quarter. image003 The service sector has also shown some resilience after a weak Quarter Three with increases in domestic demand, although this does not look sufficiently strong enough to boost service sector employment prospects in the next three months.

Stephen Gregson, corporate finance director at Moore and Smalley Chartered Accountants and Business Advisors, said: “With a full year of data to look at, it has been interesting to see that changing sentiment in both the manufacturing and service sectors. “Manufacturing, this time, does seem to have enjoyed a significant improvement in outlook and performance, a marked contrast to the picture painted by Q3. While it’s still too early to talk of trends, I think a case can be made that this survey provides further evidence that the regional economy is generally stable, with a greater possibility for future upside. However, it remains unclear just when such upside may manifest itself strongly.”