Matthew Neville

North East businesses set for salary increase and sales growth according to report

Confidence among businesses in Northern England remains high, a new report has found, likely shored up by announcements of investment in the region from Nissan and Britishvolt.

ICAEW’s Business Confidence Monitor for Q4 2021 found sentiment among the region’s companies remained in positive territory, although it had slipped from its record high in the previous quarter.

Companies in Northern England forecast domestic sales growth of 4.7 per cent, and export growth of 3.1 per cent, over the next 12 months, the latter particularly encouraging given the region’s reliance on exports. In the year to Q4 2021, domestic sales grew 0.8 per cent, while exports grew 1.3 per cent in the same period.

Headcounts have also started to increase, following a decline, and were up by 1.5 per cent year-on-year, with a further 1.4 per cent rise forecast.

Accordingly, salaries are set to increase by 1.7 per cent in the next year, which would mark a return to pre-pandemic growth and which demonstrates some of the hiring difficulties that the region’s companies are facing.

Dr James Callaghan, ICAEW regional director for Northern England, said: “News of investment in our region by Nissan and Britishvolt was an extra shot in the arm for business confidence, following growth after a tough start to the year caused by the pandemic.

“Businesses in Northern England forecast strong growth and sales, both at home and abroad, as we look to 2022.”

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