The outlook is bright according to the results of the latest quarterly Business Barometer survey from Swansea Bay Business Club.
Members of the business community from across the region were surveyed, with responses coming from a total of fourteen different sectors, including finance, retail, manufacturing, construction and hospitality – and the findings were notably upbeat.
Over 65 per cent of all those surveyed said their businesses performed somewhat stronger, or much stronger, in the last three months than they did in the previous three months. Adding to the positive outlook, almost 50 per cent of respondents said they were expecting to perform even stronger over the upcoming three months.
Acting President of Swansea Bay Business Club, Alan Brayley, said: “It’s wonderful to hear such positive feedback from our members on how they’ve been performing recently. It’s significant that, while CEOs and MDs are aware of wider economic trends and concerns, their attitude seems very much about managed growth and investment, in order to expand their businesses.”
Further results from the survey evidenced that more than 56 per cent of respondents expected to see an increase in profitability, and 39 per cent expected an increase in staffing levels, to reflect this profitability. While these figures clearly speak of optimism, more than 17 per cent cited price pressure from customers the single largest barrier to the growth of their business, with the availability of skilled workers being the second largest concern – occupying the minds of more that 13 per cent of respondents.
Alan added: “The business community are, of course, always looking ahead – forecasting and planning, and they keep themselves well-informed about future trends and external influences and shifts that are likely to affect their business. So, it is no surprise that concerns over access to skilled workers, and pressures from consumers are two issues that our members are aware of and engaging with.
“As a club, we will continue to support our members and do everything we can to engage with businesses in the region, and to assist in their growth, to the good of local employment and of the wider economy.”