Business confidence remains robust in Milton Keynes.

    A total of 28 businesses, employing 1,207 people from across Milton Keynes, took part in the review for the second quarter of the year.

    The latest Quarterly Economic Survey report from Milton Keynes Chamber of Commerce also stated 45% of service sector businesses saw an overall increase in their UK sales – up 13% on the previous quarter. A further 27% said their UK sales had remained consistent with the last quarter of 2016. They also reported positive figures for UK orders.

    In contrast the manufacturing sector reported an overall drop in UK sales, although 75% said their UK sales had remained consistent with the previous quarter. Manufacturers also reported a drop in UK orders.

    There was some good news for manufacturers who reported slight increases in export sales activity and export orders. However, export sales activity for manufacturers remains in contraction territory. The services sector reported declines in both export sales and export orders.

    Manufacturers reported that their headcount had increased for the latest quarter whereas the services sector revealed there had been a slight decrease in their numbers. Both sectors said they expect their headcounts to increase during the next quarter.

    All the manufacturers who responded said they had tried to recruit staff during the quarter and more than 40% of service sector companies also attempted to recruit staff.

    There was a mixed picture when it came to firms’ investment in plant/machinery over the quarter. Whilst manufacturers reported a significant increase in investment the services sector saw its investment activity decrease. Meanwhile, both sectors reported increases in investment in training during the period.

    Business confidence as determined by turnover and profitability across Milton Keynes remains robust despite the services sector reporting a decrease in turnover.

    Milton Keynes Chamber of Commerce chief executive Paul Griffiths said: “We are very pleased to see that business confidence across the borough continues to remain robust. “It is also encouraging to see that the majority of service sector businesses have seen their UK sales either increase or remain consistent with the previous quarter.”

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