One third (33%) of firms within the south west are hopeful for the future with 76% experiencing the same or better trading conditions – a higher percentage than any other region in the UK, according to the latest Bibby Financial Services Business Factors Index.
However, 77% of businesses within the region admit they’ve had to cut costs in order to improve efficiency – the highest percentage of all the regions – suggesting firms in the region are now best prepared to ride out the rest of the turbulence in the current economy.
The study also revealed:
- Although 33% of businesses are hopeful for the future, 36% stated they are only just surviving and have had to make cuts to the business – up slightly by four per cent on the previous Index
- 70% said that business was the same or better than six months ago, down from 75% on the Q3 2009 Index.
- Almost one in five businesses (18%) don’t believe they will see a recovery for at least two years.
And some positive signs have emerged:
- One in four firms in the region anticipate the recovery to emerge around Spring this year
- One in five (21%) firms believe they will be among the first to benefit – more so than any other region apart from Yorkshire & Humberside (29%) and the North West (25%)
- 17 % of firms say they have actually benefitted from the recession, up from 13% in the Q3 2009 Index.