Hopes for economic green shoots in Kent economy for 2013
The gap between growing and declining Kent firms has widened as
a majority expect the economy to improve in 2013, according to a
Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce, covering members in Ashford,
Maidstone, Canterbury and West Kent, revealed in the final quarter
of 2012 a “pattern of polarisation. Only 44% reported consistent
sales, while 31% said they were increasing and 25% declining.
Some 62% expect sales to improve in 2013, although fewer are
hopeful about the outlook for profits.
The survey also found that a rising number of chamber members
are exporting. After a slight dip in the third quarter, two-thirds
of exporters reported growth in sales and forward orders in Q4.
Up to 40% of firms face worsening cashflow, although the results
were less dire than Q3.
The main pressure on business continues to be inflation,
followed by corporate tax, Vat and competition.The Kent Invicta
figures fed into the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) quarterly
It found a broadly similar picture, with most businesses
confident the economic outlook will improve in 2013. However, many
key findings are still low by historical standards, indicating that
growth remains weak.
“It is a new year and time for a new chapter in our economy,”
said John Longworth, BCC’s director general.
“Although the improvements we have seen are slight, it is
progress nonetheless, and highlights the determination and ability
of the businesses we have here in the UK.
"Despite rising business confidence that the outlook will
improve, it is clear that economic growth remains weak and that
nurturing it must be a top priority.
“The UK economy will continue to face major obstacles as we head
into 2013, and every effort must be made to kick-start growth.
"Politicians can make a difference to our economic success, as
they have the power to deliver bold and imaginative measures that
will drive growth. The question is whether they have the guts to do