Businesses in Yorkshire and the Midlands appear to be taking a more optimistic view to recovery than Bank of England Governor Mervyn King with 71% and 57% respectively stating that we will start to see an upturn in another year.
The opinion is more hopeful than Mr King’s latest comments following the quarterly inflation report, in which he stated the timing and strength of the recovery was ‘highly uncertain’.
This optimistic view was just one of the results of an interactive voting session included as part of a series of dinners hosted by BDO this week in Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester called “2012 – A View Into the Future”.
‘Historian of the future’ and leading authority on forward strategy, Dr James Bellini was guest speaker and he predicted that as e-commerce grows, there will be a greater importance placed on efficient logistics. He said: “E-commerce is a major growth area for the future and during this recession we have already started to see it develop. As a result of this, there will be a greater dependence placed on logistics, in order to move products around the country and world, so these two areas could be massive areas of potential for businesses.”
“We are in an economic downturn – the principal message is that the recession is the time to ‘prune the tree’ and make yourself a stronger company when the recovery comes. It may be a time to look at business practices that don’t work anymore. It’s not a time to hide under the duvet. It’s a time to take action.”
When asked if they could resolve one issue to ensure the long term health of regional business, availability of funding was high on the agenda with 40% of Midland businesses and 30% of Yorkshire business choosing this option. Unsurprisingly, finance was the key issue with 47 per cent agreeing that debt funding is the most testing issue at the moment for Midlands businesses whilst in Yorkshire 25% see this as the key challenge.
David Maybury Regional Director of Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank, stated that we are beginning to see more liquidity in the system but banks will be more prudent in the future and won’t return to the high lending levels that were previously seen. Dr James Bellini concurred and predicted that a new age of prudence and caution will arise and as a result financial habits will change.
If you would like any more information about this article, please contact Jeff Jones, Partner, BDO.
Full survey results can be viewed for the Birmingham event at www.bdo.co.uk/futuremidlands. Yorkshire and North West results to be posted soon.