National survey reveals housing costs may impact on business growth

A quarterly, national economic survey by the British Chamber of Commerce revealed that 44% of Dorset respondents believe the cost of housing is a barrier to business growth in terms of attracting skilled staff to the area.

Overall the survey for the third quarter of 2017 showed more subdued growth with some improvement in the manufacturing sector, but largely no change in the service sector over the quarter. However, forward-looking looking indicators suggest manufacturers nationally have growing confidence and turnover will increase.

Anne Gray of Dorset County Council undertook an analysis of survey results from a Dorset perspective. Her findings were as follows:

  • Employers remain positive about the economy with the domestic market performing well but slowing.
  • Employment grew – but so did recruitment difficulties and the employment outlook for the coming quarter looks less positive than previously.
  • Cashflow remained positive although investment intentions were subdued.
  • The outlook for turnover and profitability over the next 12 months improved again.
  • Just over half of the respondents employing migrant workers believe restricting access to these workers once we leave the UE would have an impact on their business
  • Top priorities are gaining more customers, growing the business, recruiting good staff, raising the profile and developing skills.

Dr Adam Marshall, Director General of the British Chamber of Commerce admitted this quarter’s results were uninspiring.

The uninspiring results we see in our third quarter results reflect the fact that political uncertainty, currency fluctuations
and the vagaries of the Brexit process are continuing to weigh on business growth prospects.
The Chancellor’s Autumn Budget is a critical opportunity to demonstrate that the government stands ready to incentivise
investment and support growth here at home. A failure to act, or a conscious choice to provide a short-term sugar hit
to the electorate rather than the protein boost the economy needs, would have significant consequences for the UK’s
medium-term growth prospects.
Now is the time to take bold action, and create the conditions to help the economy rebound from a period of anaemic
growth. Government must demonstrate competence, coherence, and above all a clear plan to support the economy
through a period of change.

To download a summary of the results from this quarter visit