Early findings from latest Thames Valley Business Barometer

Economic confidence has dropped from spring survey

Early findings from latest Thames Valley Business Barometer

A sneak preview of results from the autumn 2017 Thames Valley Business Barometer survey shows that business confidence across the region is wavering.

Fifty-three per cent of businesses stated that economic confidence had stayed the same or improved over the last six months, but nearly half (47%) felt that economic confidence had deteriorated.

This contrasts sharply to the spring 2017 survey when 69% felt that economic confidence had stayed the same or increased.

In contrast, there is a robust picture of performance results over the last six months, despite the lack of certainty and the downswing in confidence.

Order books, pipeline, turnover and profitability all show healthy results and have remained extremely stable.

This time around the Barometer also introduced a question on the expected impact of Brexit on Thames Valley businesses and found only a quarter of business leaders in the region currently expect to see an improvement or no change after leaving the EU.

A third expect it will have a negative impact, while the remaining 40 per cent are undecided and believe that it is too early to say.

The Thames Valley Business Barometer, which is published twice yearly, has been tracking business confidence and performance across the region since 2012.

It is a collaboration between accountant and business adviser BDO LLP and Thames Valley-based PR and marketing agency C8 Consulting.

Business leaders from the Barometer panel got together in November to discuss the early findings at a roundtable hosted by BDO and C8.

The full survey results, including a look at the changing working practices of businesses across the region, local company profiles and a write- up of the panel discussion, will be published in the next Business Barometer report this month and will be able to be accessed from either C8 Consulting’s or BDO’s website.

The Thames Valley Business Barometer was launched at the start of 2012 by BDO LLP and C8 Consulting to monitor economic confidence and business performance across Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, North Hampshire and Middlesex.

It is supported by a panel of more than 30 of the region’s business leaders and is increasingly seen as a tool to help inform business decisions in the area.

The online survey is carried out between March and May and between September and November each year.