Posted: Monday, 22 September 2008 @ 11:56
The latest ICAEW UK Business Confidence Monitor for the West Midlands reinforces many of the messages that we read daily in the national press and confirms the commentators' predictions for the impact of the credit crunch on the ‘real economy’.
What started as a Financial Service sector problem has now started to impact all sectors in the ecomony.
- Business confidence is in decline – showing a decline for the fifth consecutive quarter to reach a new record low.
- The impact of the credit crunch is being compounded by high oil and commodity prices which a recreating inflationary pressures.
- The Construction sector, as we all know, has been hard hit and as a consequence is showing least confidence, closely followed by the Property sector, as the downturn in the UK housing market gathers pace.
- Consumer dependent Retail & Wholesale and Hotel & Catering sectors are being hit by the rising cost of living and fears over falling property prices. Confidence in these sectors has shown significant decline since the previous quarter.
- There’s evidence of a cooling labour market as fewer firms expect to take on more employees and salaries are expected to rise on average only 2.5% over the next year.
At Cousins Business Law we see how tough things are getting in some sectors in which our clients operate in, but equally there are some businesses which are still buoyant and seem well equipped to weather the storm. As for ourselves – our lawyers are as busy as ever.
What’s your experience at the moment – are you really feeling the pressure – and how much of that is directly due to economic conditions? Is your business thriving – and, if so, are you willing to share your thoughts on why? It would be good to see a few comments on this topic.
Gary Cousins, Business Lawyer
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