West Midlands MEP Daniel Dalton has welcomed a survey showing businesses in Greater Birmingham ended the final quarter of 2016 in a far more upbeat tone than had been expected.
The end-of-year performance was described as “remarkable” by the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce who conducted the survey.
The Q4 economic survey showed all business sectors made a solid contribution, helping ensure the West Midlands out-performed the rest of the UK.
Confidence among manufacturers that turnover would improve in the next 12 months soared to 72%, the highest figure for at least two years. And the percentage of firms expecting to improve profitability improved from 50 to 62.
The mood was also buoyant in the service sector where 68% of firms expected turnover to improve, compared with 62% in the previous quarter, and 61% (against 55%) were confident that profitability would increase.
Daniel said, “This does show that Greater Birmingham is open for business since the referendum. The West Midlands, the only UK region with a trade surplus with China, and its resilience never ceases to amaze us, but we must take this survey with a degree of caution as 2017 will be a difficult year globally and we can’t afford complacency.”
“The West Midlands employment figures ended 2016 strongly as well and again this is to be welcomed.”