Tom Mongan, general manager at Nuneaton-based Subcon Laser; Sam Van de Schootbrugge, an economist at Warwickshire County Council; Sally Dhillon, partner at Warwickshire-based Career Mums; David Myskow, general manager at the Holiday Inn Kenilworth Warwick; and Martyne Manning, policy manager at the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, formed a panel and spoke of the potential barriers to growth at the publication of the final Quarterly Economic Survey (QES) of 2017. (Submitted photo)

BUSINESSES are starting the new year in buoyant mood, according to a major survey.

The Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce conducted its final Quarterly Economic Survey (QES) of 2017 in conjunction with Warwickshire County Council.

The results show the QES’ highest confidence score of the year with an overall index score of 67.3 with anything above 50 suggesting the economy will improve.

That’s up on the previous quarter by 3.9 points and well above the national average of 56.3.

Sam Van de Schootbrugge, an economist at Warwickshire County Council, said: “This is the highest rise we have seen this year and it means businesses are going into 2018 much more confident than they were coming into 2017.

“It is slightly unexpected based on the results from the third quarter and is much higher than the national average. Confidence breeds confidence and that helps to increase investment plans and, therefore, higher productivity growth.”

There were strong rises in domestic orders in both manufacturing and service-based businesses, while overseas orders also rebounded on the previous quarter, with manufacturers particularly taking advantage of the weaker pound to export their goods internationally.

Investment is also set to rise, according to the survey, with companies determined to improve productivity by investing in training and in plant and machinery.

Martyne Manning, policy manager at the Chamber of Commerce, said: “Sills remains an issue for businesses across our patch with 62 per cent saying they believe their company is suffering from a skills shortage. We continue work with partners to look to alleviate the issue for members.” More business news in Thursday’s Herald.