Swindon and Wiltshire economy shows sign of growth after disappointing first quarter

By Anita Jaynes on 13 July, 2016

Business West’s latest survey of over 170 businesses has found that the Swindon and Wiltshire economy showed signs of growth before the EU Referendum. However, most indicators remain below levels seen this time last year.

The regular survey of companies in Swindon and Wiltshire in May and June found that:

·Almost half (48%) of firms reported increases in domestic sales, up six points on the quarter.

·International sales decreased marginally, but orders increased three points to 36%.

·Just under a third of firms (32%) plan to take on staff this quarter, up by six points.

·Business confidence rose by five points to 63%.

·However, most major indicators were below levels seen this time last year.

Commenting on the results, Ian Larrard, Director of the Swindon and Wiltshire Initiative, part of Business West, said: “The latest findings paint a positive picture for Swindon and Wiltshire. Although most indicators were higher this time last year, it is great to see that our region’s businesses were reporting higher sales and confidence ahead of the EU Referendum.

“The context has changed somewhat since then, as a Brexit vote has raised more questions about future growth, but nonetheless it is encouraging to see our economy bounce back after it showed signs of slowing last quarter.

“It is too early to tell what impact the EU Referendum decision has had on firms across our county, but these results show that as the Brexit uncertainty intensified in the weeks before the referendum, our region’s businesses were still performing strongly.

“As the fallout from Brexit continues, we want to hear how the result has affected local businesses in terms of confidence, investment and recruitment decisions. You can do this by contacting our Policy Team.”

Pictured above: Ian Larrard, Director of the Swindon and Wiltshire Initiative, part of Business West