Political certainty boosts Yorkshire business

Terry Jones, partner and head of BDO
Terry Jones, partner and head of BDO
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Businesses in Yorkshire are on course for a “summer of success”, according to professional services firm BDO.

The firm’s latest Output Index rose to 104.4 in July, up from 104.1 in June, indicating growth in business activity for the region’s companies.

Firms have reacted positively to the political stability after the General Election, after months of uncertainty prior to the vote, BDO said.

This increased certainty has encouraged businesses to invest and focus on their long term prospects, particularly in the property and financial services sectors, which had been concerned about policy change, it added.

Terry Jones, partner and head of BDO in Yorkshire, said political certainty has boosted short-term confidence, building a “thriving” economy despite global financial unrest.

He added: “However, as business success continues to exceed other markets, the strong pound will make it harder for our exporters – particularly manufacturers – to find customers.

“We can’t let confidence tip over into complacency; keeping us competitive should be a government priority.”

Despite a rise in activity, optimism fell in this month’s Business Trends report, down 0.7 percentage points to 103.2.

However, BDO said this remains “significantly above” the long-term trend and shows the UK is starting to pull ahead of its eurozone rivals and some emerging markets. The dip was blamed on the export-focused manufacturing sector and international concerns.

Falling commodity prices have also boosted firms, particularly low-cost oil, which is “keeping costs down and improving profits”. It is unclear how long this will last however, as BDO’s Inflation Report rose to 95.2 from 94.6.