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Close to Half of Business Not Confident

3 August 2018

Nearly half of Northern businesses believe economic conditions will get worse by the end of the year.

That’s the compelling message from the Chamber’s latest quarterly survey of almost 1000 businesses.

Confidence among business is at its lowest ebb in a decade, and although commentators suggest there is a risk of the business community’s narrative becoming self-fulfilling, Chamber CEO Michael Barnett says it is far riskier to ignore what the numbers are saying.

“The numbers are saying that business hates uncertainty and procrastination.

“And yet these are two consequences of local and central government inaction that are being served up to business while they’re also having to digest a barrage of wage demands, price hikes, special purpose taxes, compliance costs and policy decisions.”

Barnett stresses the survey result does not represent a pass/fail mark for Government, however he says 12 months is a long time to keep business in limbo.

“If instead the purse string holders accelerated their decision making, it would launch major infrastructure projects and signal a significant pipeline of work to follow from which business would feed off.

“So the message is, listen up to what small businesses are saying please Government – they’re too big to ignore,” says Barnett.


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