Glass is definitely ‘half full’, expert says

Stephen Gregson
Stephen Gregson
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A financial expert has told the Lancashire business community that the glass is very much “half full”, despite some disappointing responses to the latest Quarterly Economic Survey.

Stephen Gregson, from Preston-based Moore and Smalley Chartered Accountants, detailed the findings of the Quarter Two 2015 survey during a business breakfast and networking event at 
Preston’s College on Tuesday.

The Lancashire QES, which forms part of the British Chambers of Commerce’s nationwide survey, is compiled by the county’s three Chambers of Commerce.

However the responses were reflective of the national picture as a whole.

During the event, which was attended by a record number of people from the Lancashire business community, Mr Gregson said: “The message from the survey does not chime with our experience with our clients. Our experience is that businesses are performing better than this.

“Overseas markets are again declining.

“Exports have suffered and that is something we need to get our heads around and that is difficult to do if the currency is too strong.

“Businesses are saying they are finding it easier to recruit staff. Investment in plant and machinery is up year on year and investment in training is up as well and that has to be a good thing.

“More manufacturing businesses are saying they are at full capacity and that is a positive message.

“Services are down, but then again that may change.

“If this QES is any indication of how the economy is performing then it is meandering.

North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce president Norman Tenray said: “The great thing for me with these results is that we are meandering so we can afford to take a risk.

“This gives me great 
confidence.

“Over the last two months, I have been out on tour as part of the Be Inspired Business Awards and I have met some amazing businesses that are moving forward because they are taking a risk and using this as a time of opportunity.”