Companies urged to help benchmark our local economy

13/11/2023

BUSINESSES are being urged to help track the performance of the North-east economy by taking part in the latest edition of a flagship confidence survey.

The Quarterly Economic Survey (QES) – which is run by law firm Gilson Gray and Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce – will ask businesses if they have seen an increase, decrease or no change in a series of metrics, such as domestic sales, cash flow and investment.

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It will also seek to shed light on issues companies in the region may be having with getting paid for their goods or services as customers continue to wrestle with cost increases, high interest rates and political and economic uncertainty.

AGCC is seeking as large a sample as possible to ensure the results are robust and representative, and is appealing to any companies you haven’t yet got round to it to take 5 minutes and complete the survey for Q4 2023 to ensure the views of your business, sector and the Aberdeen region are fully represented in the national data.

Click here to take part in the survey.

As well as giving us a regional picture, the data gathered will also be fed into a national version of the report, run by the British Chambers of Commerce, which is the largest and most representative independent business survey of its kind in the UK.

Its findings are closely watched by policymakers such as the Treasury, the Bank of England and the Office of Budget Responsibility.

Russell Borthwick, chief executive of Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce, said: “Given the extraordinary cocktail of pressures facing companies right now, it’s more important than ever that we understand how these are impacting companies in the North-east of Scotland so we can compare and contrast with national results and provide an evidence-base to support the Chamber’s lobbying of government on behalf of the region.”

Results from the last edition of the survey, in Q3, showed that the North-east economy was outperforming the UK in a number of key metrics.

However, inflation – driven primarily by rising labour costs – continues to squeeze profitability among companies based in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire more than elsewhere.

Commenting on the Q3 results, Finlay Anderson, a Partner at Gilson Gray, which now has a new North-east headquarters at Blenheim Gate in the city centre, said: “North-east businesses seem to be benefitting from concerted efforts around cash flow management in response to the ongoing and significant pressures on cash exerted by market pressures.

“However, businesses are forecasting increased margin and price pressure as well as potential for payment disputes as we see debtor days increasing.

“A continued focus on robust cash management programmes alongside strong contract and supply chain rigour will be key to managing and navigating these pressures over the next year.”

Click here to read the Q3 results and report.

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