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Confidence Drops IN Bellwether Sector PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 04 April 2007

Business confidence across a key sector of the UK economy has dropped slightly, according to the results of a quarterly survey published today.The Palletline plc Business Confidence Index surveys owners and directors of haulage companies across the UK about their business confidence, the economic prospects they face, and key issues affecting their organisations.

The distribution sector is widely regarded as a bellwether sector of the UK economy due to the obvious links between consumer demand, production, and transportation of goods. The latest survey found that respondents were slightly less confident than three months ago about the overall economic prospects facing them, although they were significantly more confident than this time last year.

The one major regional exception was Scotland where respondents were significantly more confident than they had been three months ago.

Respondents nationally felt that the overall regional economic conditions facing them had improved significantly over the last quarter, with this having had the expected positive influence on the overall health of businesses, with respondents very optimistic about prospects for the next year.

In terms of key performance indicators (KPIs), those surveyed remained optimistic about their immediate future, being particularly bullish about growth in turnover and profit levels. Pressure on prices from clients, and competitive pressures remained the two most important issues affecting the sector. Fuel prices, which six months previously had been the second most significant factor, are now only fourth, falling behind wage costs.

Glyn Jones, Managing Director of Palletline plc, commented: “Despite the slight drop in confidence, it is obviously pleasing that confidence within the sector remains relatively high, and that there is optimism about prospects for growth in both turnover and profits over the next 12 months. It is also clear that fuel costs have become slightly less of an issue for our sector which is very welcome news.”

The Business Confidence Index was produced by market intelligence company, Andrew Lester & Associates.

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