There is a new mood of optimism across the region that the worst of the economic troubles are over.
The Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce Quarterly Economic Survey results show growing confidence and improved performance for firms as companies invest, expand and explore new market opportunities overseas.
Following a flat 2012 and distinctly disappointing results in the final quarter of the year, an upswing in all indicators could herald the beginning of our economic recovery, says chamber head of policy Steven Leigh.
Domestic and overseas sales and orders are all up on the previous quarter, and firms are hiring and planning further staff expansions in the future.
The survey found confidence is returning, and both turnover and profitability expectations have dramatically improved on the previous quarter.
Questions remain over the wider economic environment as many firms continue to report concerns over raw material prices, inflation, taxation and competition, and the chamber pledges to continue lobbying Government for business-friendly policies.
But, Mr Leigh said the results mark a welcome reversal of trends after a difficult year for business.
“In our first Quarterly Economic survey report of 2013 there is room for cautious optimism that the worst of our economic difficulties are behind us, and that an alignment of positive business sentiment and constructive Government policy may begin to yield positive results,” he said.
“As we have repeatedly stated – business confidence is a key element to economic recovery.
“We hope that the improved confidence expressed in this survey by businesses in our region will be sustained throughout this year and beyond, and will be buoyed by the positive interventions made by the Government in the March
Key headlines from the survey:
UK SALES AND ORDERS RISING STEADILY
CONTINUED IMPROVED OUTLOOK FOR EXPORTS
NEW YEAR HERALDS RENEWED CONFIDENCE
INFLATION WORRIES ACROSS ALL SECTORS
The latest QES reports are available at www.mycci.co.uk