December 5 2013 Latest news:
Thursday, September 12, 2013
Further signs that the UK economy is turning a corner emerged yesterday as the number of people claiming jobseeker’s allowance fell by more than 2,000 across the region.
Businesses in East Anglia are significantly more confident about future growth compared to last year, according to new research from Santander Corporate & Commercial.
The average company with a turnover of £20m or less is expecting to grow revenue by 81pc over the next five years, a study by the bank has found.
This is up considerably from the 68pc five-year growth forecast in last year’s survey, although not as optimistic as the 88% growth predicted in 2011.
And nationally, the research revealed that UK businesses as a whole are predicting turnover growth of an average 134pc in the next five years.
Meanwhile, the number of businesses in East Anglia looking to grow both organically and through acquisition is at record levels, the bank said.
It found that more than a third (39pc) of businesses in the region reported organic growth as their immediate short term priority, the highest in the UK, compared to 32pc in 2012 and 28pc in 2011.
Martyn Dawson, regional Director for Santander Corporate & Commercial, said: “Understandably, many businesses in the East Anglia region remain cautious in the current trading environment.
“However, our latest growth survey reveals a more optimistic five-year growth outlook compared to 2012. It has also found that since 2011, when our first report was published, more SMEs in the UK are looking at acquisitions to spur growth as well as investing in organic expansion, which we believe is positive news for the UK economy. Figures that indicate firms are increasing efforts to hire new staff are also to be welcomed.”
• How can small businesses make the most of the improved economic climate? David Riches, director of operations at the British Chamber of Commerce and Marcelino Castrillo, head of SME at Santander & Commercial will offer their tips and advice during a special web TV show today at 1.30pm. To watch go to www.EDP24.co.uk
Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) found that the amount of benefit claimants in the east had fallen to 19,048 in August, compared to 21,825 in the same month last year, and 21,919 the year before.
But seasonal work in the region’s agricultural and tourism sectors may have played a part in driving down the numbers.
The findings are based on local ONS research focusing on Breckland, Broadland, Fenland, Great Yarmouth, King’s Lynn and West Norfolk, North Norfolk, Norwich, and South Norfolk.
And the figures tied in with a wider national trend, which saw the number of people claiming jobseeker’s allowance falling by 32,600 to 1.4 million in August. It comes as mixed signals emerged from the jobs market as unemployment fell by 24,000, but those forced to take part-time work hit a record high.
Separate ONS figures – based on the Labour Force Survey – showed that the number of unemployed nationally fell to 2.49 million in the three months to July, helping nudge the jobless rate to 7.7pc from 7.8pc.
But the same survey for East Anglia pointed to a bleaker picture for the region, as the number of people out of work rose by 3,000 to 211,000 over the same period, which is a 6.7pc unemployment rate, the ONS said.
David Cameron welcomed the national fall in unemployment, but added: “We have got a long way to go.
“As the chancellor said, ‘We are turning the corner’. But we have got to build this recovery. We have got to go on backing businesses, we have got to go on dealing with our debts.”
Two hundred jobs are set to be created after one of west Norfolk’s largest businesses was granted permission to expand its King’s Lynn facilities.