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Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Optimism in Cumbria following UK economy growth

CUMBRIA business leaders are cautiously optimistic following today's announcement that the UK economy grew around 0.6 per cent in the three months to June.

Output grew in the construction, manufacturing, services and agriculture sectors according to the Office for National Statistics.

Rob Johnston, chief executive of Cumbria Chamber of Commerce, said: “This news comes as no surprise to us in Cumbria.

“We have felt a growing feeling of confidence, with some businesses keen to expand and invest as soon as signs of sustainable growth appeared.

“The modest, positive growth seen in the second quarter of the year shows that things are looking up.

“The gradual progress made by the UK economy, particularly in the service sectors where exports continue to surge, is pleasing to see.

“Confidence among businesses is high when looking ahead both in profitability and turnover, with businesses feeling upbeat and capable of expansion.

“When it comes to exporting more and more businesses are adopting a ‘have a go’ attitude, which is really encouraging and will go a long way to driving growth further still.

“Sustained growth isn’t just down to business however, effort is required from government too.

“Businesses need an enterprise-friendly environment for the economy to move from good to great. We must be careful we don’t stifle the growing optimism and confidence that is coming through, but instead be more proactive in nurturing the modest recovery that is starting to gather pace.”

Phil Collier, chairman of the Furness branch of the Federation of Small Businesses, which has around 700 members in the area, said: “Obviously, any growth is better than no growth at all. Generally when I speak with members, there does seem to be an air of optimism around far more than there was three/six months ago.

“Let’s hope the growth continues and the optimism is built on good foundations.”

Darrell Matthews, regional director of the Institute of Directors in the North West, said: “The results are relatively positive, signaling another step in the right direction for the second quarter of the year.

“Although the results show signs of sustainable growth, we need to be aware that the economy is still in a very delicate state and the government needs to do all it can to support business growth.”

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