A sneak preview of results from the autumn 2017 Thames Valley Business Barometer survey shows that business confidence across the region is wavering. 53% of businesses stated that economic confidence had stayed the same or improved over the past six months, but nearly half (47%) felt that economic confidence had deteriorated. This contrasts sharply to the spring 2017 survey when 69% felt that economic confidence had stayed the same or increased.
In contrast there is a robust picture of performance results over the past six months despite the lack of certainty and the downswing in confidence. Order books, pipeline, turnover and profitability all show healthy results and have remained extremely stable.
This time around the Barometer also introduced a question on the expected impact of Brexit on Thames Valley businesses and found only a quarter of business leaders in the region currently expected to see an improvement or no change after leaving the EU. A third expected it would have a negative impact while the remaining 40% were undecided and believed that it was too early to say.
The Thames Valley Business Barometer, published twice yearly, has been tracking business confidence and performance across the region since 2012. It is a collaboration between accountants and business advisers BDO LLP and Thames Valley-based PR and marketing agency, C8 Consulting.
Business leaders from the Barometer Panel got together in November to discuss the early findings at a roundtable hosted by BDO and C8. The full survey results, including a look at the changing working practices of businesses across the region, local company profiles and a write up of the panel discussion, will be published in the next Business Barometer report in January 2018 and will be able to be accessed from either C8 Consulting’s or BDO’s website (www.bdo.co.uk).