REVEALED: Lancashire suffering weaker growth

Results: Babs Murphy

Results: Babs Murphy

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Manufacturing and services firms in Lancashire have suffered weaker growth for the start of this year, survey results show.

The slower growth, revealed in the latest Quarterly Economic Survey from Lancashire’s Chambers of Commerce, followed strong results in the final quarter of last year.

The survey revealed that most key balances had weakened in quarter one, particularly those measuring export sales and investment, which are crucial to the re-balancing of the economy.

The only exceptions to the general pattern of lower balances in the first quarter of the year were an improvement in employment expectations over the next three months, as firms in both sectors anticipate increased workforce levels.

There were also signs that inflation is likely to remain low as fewer firms faced pressure to increase prices.

The survey asks businesses a variety of questions to gain an indication as to how the economy and business is faring.

In Lancashire it has been compiled by the county’s three Chambers in association with Moore and Smalley Chartered Accountants and Business Advisors.

Babs Murphy, chief executive of the North and Western Lancashire Chamber, said: “These results are by no means a cause for alarm, but they are a salutary reminder that the UK still faces obstacles on the path to sustainable, long-term growth. Unless support for exports and business investment is placed at the heart of any future government, consumption and government spending will continue to drive an economic recovery that is unbalanced and unsustainable.

“With these results in hand, our message to the politicians is simple: the national interest must come 
before short-term political point scoring.”