Confidence in the rural economy is higher than in the economy as a whole, according to the new quarterly Country Land and Business Association (CLA) Rural Economy Index – the CLA REI.
The CLA surveyed a cross section of the rural economy across England and Wales – totalling 100 rural business members and found that only 5% had no confidence in the rural economy over the next three to six months – compared to 42% with the economy in general.
Furthermore, 50% expected their firms to be able to perform according to their business plans and 16% even expecting their rural business to perform well with potential for growth over the next three to six months.
The CLA says that it is launching this quarterly economic indicator because the rural economy is often overlooked, despite the small businesses that operate in the countryside being the backbone of this nation’s economy as a whole.
Dr Charles Trotman, the CLA’s Head of Rural Business Development, said: “The CLA REI is to gauge the level of confidence in the rural economy. Every quarter, we will survey 100 rural business members from a wide spectrum of businesses and regions, giving an up-to-date indication of the economic state of the rural economy.”