The latest Quarterly Economic Survey is now open!

Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce represent the views of its members to national government, ensuring that the business case drives government policy. A great benefit of being part of this extensive network of business support is that business views are represented in their Quarterly Economic Survey Reports.

The Quarterly Economic Survey (QES) is the UK’s largest and longest running independent survey of business sentiment. The QES is briefed extensively to MPs, Ministers, Advisors and Civil Servants across UK government departments. The results from the survey are also widely used by the Bank of England and the Office for Budgetary Responsibility to influence policy making.

In recent surveys, businesses have indicated similar challenges such as rising energy costs, inflation, and the stretched labour market. In the previous survey we saw a reduction in the number of businesses reporting inflation as a cause for concern to their business. 67% of businesses reported that inflation was a concern to their business, compared to 76% in the previous quarter. In the Spring Budget, the Chancellor made it a priority to tackle inflation, attributing it to ongoing economic challenges. It is encouraging for businesses that the government are addressing the significant inflationary pressures firms are facing. The recent figures released by the Office for National Statistics show a slight easing in inflation to 10.1%, however rising food prices has kept inflation above 10%, it was widely expected to fall below this.

The Quarter 1 2023 survey reported a significant spike in business confidence in the three months prior to February 2023. 54% of businesses indicated they expected their turnover to increase, compared to 45% in the previous quarter. There was a similar upward trend for business profitability, 43% of businesses expected their profitability to improve over the next 12 months, this has improved from 33% in the previous survey. Business Confidence in the previous survey was as high as it has been since Q2 2022. We are hopeful this continues to improve in 2023, we are keen to hear how your business has been operating in the last three months to represent your business concerns to the relevant bodies.

This quarter’s survey has a focus on apprenticeships, training, and workforce planning. In our most recent QES, only 10% of businesses indicated they had attempted to recruit apprentices in the last three months. In this survey we ask respondents on their plans for recruiting apprentices as well as questions on long-term workforce planning.

The research conducted will be shared with the British Chamber of Commerce, along with 53 UK Chambers, and provide a framework from which Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce can influence local and national partners, and benefit Chamber Members in the two counties.

By taking part in this quarter’s survey, you will have the chance to win a Family Pass for 4 people, including wristbands, for a day out at West Midlands Safari & Leisure Park. In recognition of the park celebrating its 50th Birthday this year and becoming Patron Members of the Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce.

To take part in this quarter’s survey, please click here.