Latest Staffordshire Chambers Quarterly Economic Survey shows businesses are still battling economic headwinds as record number have their say 

1 min read

Responses to a survey of Staffordshire businesses suggest a slight worsening of economic conditions in the county. 

Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce received its highest-ever response rate for a Quarterly Economic Survey (QES) after putting out an appeal in Daily Focus for businesses to help map the economic landscape for the second quarter of 2024. 

The responses show a slight drop in both sales, customers or bookings and also advanced customers or bookings, as well as a fall in the number of respondents reporting growth in the workforce both in the past three months and in the next three months. 

There was also a growth in the number of respondents expecting to increase their prices in the future and a slight drop in the number of respondents expecting turnover to increase in the future. 

Labour costs and other overheads were the top two responses given when businesses were asked to explain where they feel the pressure to raise prices from. 

Energy prices and supply costs came out top of the factors causing more of a concern to businesses now than three months ago. 

Positives to come from the responses were reports of growth in overseas sales, customers or bookings and growth in overseas orders, advanced customers or bookings. 

There were also reports of increased investments into plant, machinery or capital and, similarly, training over the past three months and an increase in respondents who said they expected profitability to rise during the next 12 months. 

Declan Riddell, Policy Adviser at Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce, said: “Responses from our latest QES, Q2 2024 suggest that our businesses are still battling economic headwinds. 

“The competition for skills is still strong, and the high-cost pressures of wages and interest rates will continue for longer.  The actual cost of doing business remains a challenge.” 

He added: “This is our highest ever response rate for QES and we’re keen to thank everyone who took the time to complete one.” 

All 52 of the UK Chambers of Commerce roll out the QES across their respective regions.  

The findings – widely recognised as a valuable source of information about economic performance – are shared with the British Chambers of Commerce, Government departments including HM Treasury and the Cabinet Office as well as the Bank of England. 

Hayley Johnson

Senior journalist with over 15 years’ experience writing for customers and audiences all over the world. Previous work has included everything from breaking news for national newspapers to complex business stories, in-depth human-interest features and celebrity interviews - and most things in between.

Latest from Blog