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UK ‘Now In A Worsening Recession’ October 7, 2008

Posted by liverpoolchamber in Business, British Chambers of Commerce, Policy.
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The publication of the British Chambers of Commerce’s Quarterly Economic Survey for Q3 2008 paints an increasingly gloomy picture of Britain’s business.

The domestic economy is under immense pressure for the second quarter in a row, with the survey results showing that the UK is now in a worsening recession.

Key results from the survey show:

  • Domestic balances, sales as well as orders, have moved deeper into negative territory, for both manufacturing and services
  • All firm sizes, in both sectors, show negative Q3 domestic balances, a disturbing and unusual situation
  • Manufacturing export balances plummeted in Q3
  • Collapse in confidence across sectors
  • All confidence balances, turnover as well as profitability, fell to record lows in Q3, for both manufacturing and services
  • Cashflow balances remain negative in this quarter
  • Recruitment dip across sectors
  • Investment balances in plant and machinery moved into negative territory for both sectors

BCC Director-General David Frost said:

“We are clearly in a very difficult economic period but it is important that we retain a sense of proportion. Many parts of the business community continue to perform well.

“Confidence is critical and it is vital that businesses are shown leadership. The BCC will be showing such leadership in the coming months.

“The Government needs to say that business taxes will be cut. The Bank of England need to cut interest rates immediately and politicians need to get behind our businesses in these challenging times. “

Read more on the BCC website.

Read a summary of the QES Q3 on the BCC site [PDF]

This story on the BBC

What do you think needs to happen? Let us know in the comments.

Economic Crisis Blamed On Failure To Recognise Change September 30, 2008

Posted by liverpoolchamber in Business, Technology.
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Here’s an interesting (short) essay from America looking at the current economic crisis.

It postulates that failing to recognise the change from industrial to information and service economies has resulted in a failure to account for modern businesses’ greatest assets – talent, staff, innovation, communication and more….

In the industrial economy, value is added by taking raw materials and turning them into finished goods, which are then brokered to their destination in some supply chain, and consumed or used to produce further value.

The entire philosophy of our accounting and systems for valuation are based on this system which was developed for assessing risks in the renaissance for trading and raiding (European war financing) ventures.

Accounting methods really haven’t been updated to keep up with the changes as service and information economy overlays have changed the game.

We have no way to account for our greatest assets in the modern economy — talent, staff loyalty, team productivity in innovation, effective communication of information through media and business channels, and so on.  These are all without accounting value in our current systems.

Read the full article by Sheva Nerad over on the Gather website.

Article found via Boing Boing.

Has she got a point? What do you think? Let us know in the comments.

Can Liverpool Do Better Than The UK Economy? August 19, 2008

Posted by liverpoolchamber in 2008, British Chambers of Commerce, Business, Capital of Culture 2008, Chamber Services, Culture, Legislation, Liverpool, Media, Policy, Services.
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Liverpool Chamber of Commerce is hopeful that Merseyside may be less affected by the threat of recession than the country as a whole. The quarterly UK economic forecast released by British Chambers highlights a significant worsening in UK economic prospects and predicts an increase in unemployment across the country of 250,000 to 300,000 people although the organisation remains hopeful that a major recession can be avoided.

Jack Stopforth, Chief Executive of Liverpool Chamber of Commerce says: “While these latest figures are worrying they do not confirm a trend. All businesses will feel some impact from the worsening position in the wider economy, we remain cautiously optimistic that Merseyside businesses are doing better than most.

“In our survey of members for the second quarter of this year there was clear evidence that the trading environment was very tough with half of the companies who responded having to face rising raw material and overhead costs and a general slowdown in new orders and sales. Despite this, 33% of companies reported growing employment compared to only 13% reducing jobs with the majority of new posts being full time.”

“We have seen some high profile failures in recent months, and there has been a predictable downturn in construction but most sectors have performed well, including local retail, which is bucking the national trend by exhibiting growth. There is also anecdotal evidence that the hospitality sector is doing well with record numbers of visitors coming to the city and our growing base of technology and innovation based businesses are expected to be less affected by the general trend.

“We believe that there are local factors that provide at least some short term insulation against the worst of the credit crunch. But our national body, British Chamber of Commerce (BCC) has warned of a “serious risk” of recession, nationally, following its business confidence survey and so this is no time for complacency in any sector”.

Liverpool Chamber’s latest economic survey has just been circulated to members and the results will be released along with the results of the national survey in early October.

Are We Facing A Recession? July 8, 2008

Posted by liverpoolchamber in British Chambers of Commerce, Business.
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With the British Chambers of Commerce reporting that Britain’s SMEs are predicting economic doom, what’s the opinion of Liverpool’s businesses?

Have you seen the warning signs in things like spiraling fuel costs, cash flow problems, the struggling property market and rising inflation?

Or are you confident that SMEs can remain the backbone of the British economy and weather this particular storm.

Read the BBC press release and QES results here.

Let us know your thoughtsby leaving a comment, or alternatively give a yes/no answer on the Chamber’s home page poll.

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