London businesses weathering economic storms, survey finds

London businesses weathering economic storms, survey finds

An increasing number of London businesses saw sales pick up during the second quarter of 2023 compared to the first, with domestic orders rising for the first time in five quarters, according to the latest Capital 500 survey for the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The survey, conducted by Savanta before the Bank of England raised interest rates last month, found that 22 per cent on London firms had seen their orders increase compared with the previous there months, up from 15 per cent and 13 per cent had enjoyed increased sales.

Nearly 40 per cent said they expect their profitability and turnover to go up over the next 12 months, although 44 per cent anticipated the economic growth across the UK as a whole to worsen.

The relatively upbeat findings have come despite 69 per cent of firms saying their energy costs rose during the second quarter compared with the first. This was down from 74 per cent in the previous survey, covering the first quarter of this year, though only four per cent of businesses said their energy costs had fallen.

Inflation continues to be cited as the biggest worry for firms, with 66 per cent putting it at the top of their list although this is down from 73 per cent.

Just over one in five (22 per cent) of firms expect their workforce to grow during the coming three months, while only five per cent think it will reduce.

The chamber’s chief executive Richard Burge said: “LCCI’s quarterly economic survey shows yet again the resilience and entrepreneurial drive of the London business community despite the economic headwinds. There has been an uptick in business confidence with 24% of London businesses expecting London’s economy to improve in the next 12 months. With stronger government support, London could lead the national economic recovery. Stubborn inflation figures require supply side measures to keep up the recovery momentum.”

Read the survey results in full, with expert commentary, HERE. Photo from LCCI.

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