At a webinar this morning, Tuesday 29 September, Dundee & Angus Chamber of Commerce (DACC), along with Angus Economics, released the results of their Quarterly Economic Indicator (QEI) for Q3 2020.
The survey highlighted that:
• Covid-19 has forced 38% of local businesses to make changes to the products & services they offer
• Average operating capacity in Dundee & Angus businesses has improved from 54% to 69% quarter on quarter
• Over the last 3 months businesses are significantly more concerned about taxation and exchange rates
• 47% of businesses expect prospects to improve over next 12 months, but 7% concerned they may not survive
Alison Henderson, CEO of Dundee & Angus Chamber said "This second publication of the Dundee & Angus Chamber Economic Indicator Report sees us reveal our DACC Business Sentiment Indicator, a measure of current business conditions and expectations for the future.
We’ve had a very positive level of responses again this quarter and encouragingly, many businesses are reporting strong order books which is lifting future expectations. We know that positive expectations then encourage businesses to invest – that’s vital for stimulating and supporting our local economy.
But let’s be clear, there is fragility in our economies at the moment, and we can see in our Indicator that when businesses lack information and clear guidance, that shakes confidence and expectations. In turn, that dampens sentiment, and behaviours change.
We need to see further business support measures to alleviate difficult trading conditions caused by the pandemic and a clear route through Brexit, with progress on trade deals. Businesses have not been able to use 2020 to plan for the UK’s exit from the EU and time is not on our side.
However, we can see from responses to the last two surveys that businesses can and will adapt quickly, and those who do so report considerable benefits to their revenues. Making informed decisions is the key.
As the trend in our data shows, business sentiment remains relatively positive as we go through the second half of 2020: protecting job losses and supporting businesses remain critical priorities.”
Dr Shona Dobbie, Angus Economics commented "Being able to create our own business sentiment index is a huge step forward as it provides a wealth of information about the conditions local businesses are actually facing and their expectations for the next few months. The information used in calculating the index lets us see not only what is going well but also where the pinch points are at any point in time, and this gives us the ability to be much more pro-active."