July Business Briefing
Q2 economic survey results published
We are delighted to share the Suffolk Chamber of Commerce’s Quarterly Economic Survey (QES) results from April to June.
Here are some of the highlights;
- Manufacturers reported a 48 percentage point fall in export sales (to a negative balance of -43%) and a 40 percentage point drop in export orders (-50%).
- Service companies experienced smaller, but still significant, declines against both measures with export sales (-21%) and exports (-26%) down 17 and 26 percentage points respectively.
- The change in export performance may reflect the county’s trading exposure to international markets, thanks to its strengths in ports and logistics and the impact of the recent strengthening of the pound.
- The Suffolk service sector’s export sales balances has now been in negative territory for 15 of the last 20 quarters, with the order measure recording only four positives across the previous 23 months.
- Domestic sales and orders for both types of companies remain anaemic with zero or very small positive balances.
- Manufacturers reported declines in most other key measures, including cash flow (down by two percentage points), investment in plant and machinery (down 19 percentage points), confidence in improving turnover (down 25 percentage points and confidence in improving profitability (down 11 percentage points).
- There was one piece of comparative good news in that worries about rising prices have fallen and are now at their lowest for over a year. However, at 75% inflation remains the biggest issue facing Suffolk businesses, followed by interest rates (53%) and taxation (33%).
Comments from Suffolk Chamber members include:
- “The economy has flatlined. There is only negative movement”
- “Profit margins looking much lower for this financial year. It is a worrying trend”
- “We seem to be walking into a recession despite what the media say – trade is very sluggish and patchy”
However, in the longer-term, Suffolk Chamber remains optimistic about the outlook for the business community. Suffolk remains in a better position than most to withstand future shocks and take swift advantage of new opportunities. Suffolk Chamber, through its suite of services and lobbying activities, remains well-positioned to make the best contribution possible to help deliver sustainable and enduring prosperity for us all.
Jo Kreckler, director of corporate affairs and external communications at Greene King was confirmed as a board member at Suffolk Chamber of Commerce’s 139th Annual General Meeting on 29th June.
Suffolk Chamber of Commerce has teamed up with Suffolk County Council Public Health & Communities to support Suffolk employers to work with their staff to find ways to improve their overall mental health, physical health, and wellbeing.
A happy, healthy workplace is good for business. Workplace health and wellbeing are priorities for government, industry commerce, employer and employee groups. Having a resilient, healthy workforce with the right work-home balance has never been more important. It improves productivity, absenteeism and effectiveness, as well as strengthening your ability to adapt and respond to the economy and our ever-changing environment.
The Chamber's Improving Workplace Hub is a fantastic resource to help managers and employees alike with access to a huge array of online support for physical health, mental health, and wellbeing matters.
Young Chamber request for businesses to register their interest in helping young people with any of the following;
Work Experience placements (any duration)
Giving a talk to students
Helping with mock interviews
Helping workshops such as writing a CV
Hosting a visit
Other similar support
Contact the Policy team to find out more by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Did you miss the latest member survey? There are 10 days left to have your say! Your participation in this survey is invaluable because:
☕️Your opinion drives our decisions: comprehensive data-driven insights are vital to making informed decisions. Your feedback will empower us to better understand your expectations, preferences, and areas where we can improve.
☕️Tailored benefits just for you: We recognise that our Suffolk Chamber members have diverse needs, interests, and aspirations. By participating in the survey, you will help us identify areas where we can enhance our offerings, introduce new benefits, and personalise to better suit your preferences. By providing your input, you ensure that your membership remains valuable and aligned with your expectations.
Celebrating diversity in Suffolk's business community
In 2024, the 140th anniversary of the launch of Chamber of Commerce activity in Suffolk will be celebrated. This offers a unique opportunity to reveal and share a hidden heritage of economic and employment change to new and diverse audiences in thought-provoking, creative, and exciting ways.
Part of the initiative is Celebrating Diversity, a project funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, with thanks to National Lottery players. It will explore the changing structure and diversity of business organisations in Suffolk over 140 years, how the role of women in employment and self-employment has changed, and the impact of people from migrant backgrounds on economic activity and success.
Suffolk Chamber is looking for stories which could feature in a public exhibition, online content and educational content next year. If you have any suggestions of businesses owned by people from overseas, please contact Elma Glasgow, Celebrating Diversity project officer, at email@example.com.
Suffolk Chamber Place Forums
The Chamber Place Forums offer a valuable opportunity for Chamber Members in the region to convene and engage in discussions regarding local prospects and challenges.
These highly anticipated gatherings rotate across various districts to ensure widespread accessibility and serve as an exceptional platform for fostering connections with influential decision-makers and thought leaders, enabling participants to actively shape local policies and drive initiatives forward.
While attendance is free, spaces are limited. To secure your spot at the upcoming Place Forum in your local area, kindly click on the buttons below to make your reservation.
West Suffolk Forum
8 to 10am, Monday 4th September
Epicentre, Haverhill Research Park, Enterprise Way, Haverhill, Suffolk CB9 7LR
5 to 7pm, Monday 11th September
Innovation Labs at University of Suffolk, The Atrium, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP3 8AH
East Suffolk Forum
5 to 7pm, Monday 18th September
Cogent Technology, Langer Road, Felixstowe, Suffolk, IP11 2ER
Central Suffolk Forum
4 to 6pm, Wednesday 25th October
Energy From Waste Plant, Lodge Lane, Great Blakenham, Ipswich, Suffolk IP6 0JE