The May survey looked for views on the Euro, commercial property prices, time off for leisure, hard to fill vacancies, new jobs, visits to UKBB and UK Business Adviser Barometer websites, and regional sales.
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181 respondents were drawn with the following population characteristics:
Shortage of skills to some extent accompanies the number of hard to fill vacancies. Our quarterly 'core' questions include one on the impact of skill shortages. Over the last year, constraints on businesses due to skill shortages have declined overall, but 25% of respondents currently have hard to fill vacancies.
The final four questions looked at the dependence of business on the local, regional, national and international economies.
Less than 5% of respondents are over 70% dependent on the international economy, but 24% have that level of dependency on the national economy. 20% rely on the local economy for more than 50% of sales and 15% rely on the regional economy for over 50% of sales.
On average, business expectations following recent developments in the Iraq situation seem to be improving. 35% are more optimistic or much more optimistic, with 16% being more pessimistic or much more pessimistic. The views of the remainder are unchanged.
Recent announcements on UK growth rates have been disappointing and many businesses may be looking at their costs. 37% of our respondents would first try savings on investment in plant and equipment and 25% would look to wages and salaries for cuts, while 19% would cut marketing costs as their first choice. Business Advisers were asked which area their clients would look to first, and 47% believe that business would cut training first, while 22% think Investment would be top of the list.
With the latest changes in employment law and access to employment tribunals, and reports of large increases in the numbers of employees lodging cases against employers, especially those running smaller businesses, we asked how many of our respondents had had involvement with employment tribunals recently. 15% have had one involvement, and only 1.2% have had more than one involvement over the last three years.
Comments are listed under sector headings.
Views expressed are those of individual panellists and may not represent those
of the University.
I believe like most people -not happy to loose our sovereignty to Europe, especially the pound for the Euro- we are an island nation who is bed with every one (commonwealth/ USA /Europe) Figuratively speaking. Locking our selves further with Europe cannot be good. Britain is a free trade country..