Businesses warn that growth in Norfolk is too slow - according to new survey

06:30 03 July 2012

Caroline Williams, chief executive of Norfolk Chamber of Commerce

Caroline Williams, chief executive of Norfolk Chamber of Commerce

Archant © 2011

Economic growth in Norfolk is still too slow with manufacturing firms noting a drop in exports - according to the latest quarterly survey.

The British Chamber of Commerce quarterly economic survey concluded that businesses are growing, but the pace is sluggish and inadequate for a sustainable recovery.

The new survey, comprising responses from 7,805 businesses, including Norfolk firms, shows that while many of the balances it measures are in positive territory suggesting growth, they are still below levels seen before the recession in 2007.

Nationally, it notes a surprisingly good improvement in exporting activity in the UK, suggesting that businesses are looking to exporting as a source of growth.

But Norfolk manufacturers reported a slow-down in export sales and orders, with sales falling by eight points to 37pc and orders falling by 17 points to 20pc.

Norfolk survey results also showed a sharp fall (38pc) on home sales and orders among manufacturers.

However, Norfolk’s service sector had a much better quarter and increased their sales from 0pc to 58pc and orders increased from 5pc to 61pc.

The manufacturing and the service sectors both reported an increase in the number of businesses trying to recruit staff and there had been a slight improvement in cashflow.

The turmoil in Europe is having an effect on businesses in the Eastern region with Norfolk firms reporting heightened concern regarding exchange rates.

Caroline Williams CEO Norfolk Chamber of Commerce, said firms needed to take advantage of export opportunities beyond Europe.

“Although the challenging Norfolk results are not a great surprise it is disappointing that our businesses are finding it so tough,” she said.

“Domestic growth is limited and our manufacturing exporters are not reflecting the increase seen elsewhere in the UK although the service industries had a better quarter.

“Export opportunities outside Europe need to be taken advantage of and this is a key reason why we have invited 14 countries to attend our free Global Marketplace event in September to enable businesses to assess what the opportunities are for them.

“Although Norfolk business confidence is still lower than pre-recession level in 2007 there is a real determined attitude within the Norfolk business community that they will ride out whatever is thrown at them and grab every possible opportunity,” she added.


  • I've been thinking about Mike Jones' message and actually I'm inclined to agree. We get these updates quite regularly and I'm going to have a rethink about how we should report them. Thanks for the input.

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    Shaun Lowthorpe

    Monday, July 9, 2012

  • "Caroline Williams CEO Norfolk Chamber of Commerce, said firms needed to take advantage of export opportunities beyond Europe". Does she actually know what is involved in exporting to countries outside the EU ???.

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    Tuesday, July 3, 2012

  • "V" - Indeed she does, the Norfolk Chamber of Commerce has an International department which is there to help Norfolk businesses with exportingimporting from both inside and outside the EU

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    Norfolk Chamber

    Tuesday, July 3, 2012

  • Norfolk Chamber. Is it a working knowlege or is it, like a lot of these quango's, a book and a so called university course, where afterwards, lo and behold you suddenly become an expert and with the right connections get a place on a quango ??.

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    Tuesday, July 3, 2012

  • This article would be more read-worthy if it had some detail attached to it. What sectors are the exporters operating in? With sales falling by eight points to 37pc and orders falling by 17 points to 20pc it sounds like a catastrophe?.The Norfolk 'service sector' results? - "increased their sales from 0pc to 58pc and orders increased from 5pc to 61pc". What's that all about? These figures are gobbledygook unless they are explained.

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    Mike Jones

    Wednesday, July 4, 2012

  • Never understood why does there need to be continuous growth? (other than to offset inflation - which is a bit chicken and egg anyway) Is enough insufficient?

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    Tuesday, July 3, 2012

  • "we will never return to the old boom and bust" Gordon Brown's last pre- budget speech. nulabour along with their Banksters pals have busted the UK economy forever!!!

    Report this comment


    Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site


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