City business survey highlights cautious optimism
City business survey highlights cautious optimism

The city’s business community remains cautiously optimistic about economic conditions over the next 12 months.

That is the main conclusion of The Greater Peterborough Business Survey 2017, produced by Rawlinsons in association with Opportunity Peterborough.

Over 120 local businesses took part in the annual survey, designed to test the temperature of the economic water in Greater Peterborough.

Looking back on 2016, just over half of the businesses reported increased profits. Whilst still a majority, this was down on the previous year, with more businesses seeing a decline in performance.

Businesses remain optimistic, with a higher proportion predicting improvements in profitability during the next 12 months. This is despite nearly 80 per cent of businesses thinking that their operating costs will increase in 2017 – up significantly from 54% two years ago.   The main reason for this increase appears to be concerns over Brexit.

The views on the impact of Brexit were many and varied and it is clear that the future negotiations has left many businesses watching the outcomes with some uncertainty.

The availability of skilled workers continues to be the number one obstacle for growth, with 31 per cent of all respondents focusing on this particular business challenge over the next 12 months, although that number has reduced.

“It’s encouraging to see that Greater Peterborough’s businesses, on the whole, continue to be optimistic about the future. This reflects the continued and sustained economic confidence in one of the country’s fastest growing cities,” said Steve Bowyer, Chief Executive of Opportunity Peterborough.

“The Skills Service continues to deliver positive work in improving skills in the long term and we are here to work with partners and local businesses to ensure the Greater Peterborough area remains a vibrant business hub and economic powerhouse.”

“The survey report contains some detailed notes reflecting the city’s business community views on obstacles to growth and what might have the greatest impact on profitability, which contain themes consistent to previous years but perhaps with a different focus,” added Mark Jackson, Partner at Rawlinsons.

“The uncertainty over the Brexit negotiations does weigh heavily on some businesses but investing, upskilling and dealing with changes and challenges as they come will all help to drive improved performance over the next 12 months.”

For a full copy of the The Greater Peterborough Business Survey, please contact Joanna Bacon at Rawlinsons on 01733 568321 or Or follow the link: