Welcome to the Quarterly Economic Report for Q4 of 2021

Welcome to the latest QES report and thank you to all who contributed to the survey. Your insights have been incredibly valuable in helping us to paint a picture of the current economy and determine what support is needed as we move forward into a new year. We are seeing positive signs of recovery, with both domestic and overseas sales increasing on the previous quarter’s data. Confidence has taken a dip as many have been experiencing issues with recruitment, supply and skills shortages. However, I am confident that we can work together as a collective business community to fight for the support we need, and collaborate to ensure 2022 is strong and prosperous for all.

If you would like to discuss any of these findings in further detail, or if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch and email me on

Martin Hathaway, Managing Director

Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce

Executive Summary - Q4 2021

DOMESTIC SALES - UK sales show continued signs of improvement with companies reporting increased activity in greater numbers. Supply side challenges notwithstanding, manufacturers also saw sales increase over the last quarter.

EXPORT SALES - Despite improving net balance figures in the last quarter, international sales still remain subdued with the impact of supply disruption and rising costs still a factor.

EMPLOYMENT - Demand for labour is strong but access to skills remains challenging with 65% of service sector firms and 79% of manufacturers reporting difficulties filling vacancies in the last quarter.

INVESTMENT - Manufacturers report increasing capital investment in greater numbers over the last three months. Delayed projects from 2020 are now being brought forward but many firms also point to new investment in order to meet rising demand from customers. Investment in training remains largely unchanged or only slightly improved; given the skills challenges faced by many, this could be down to a reluctance to spend whilst cash reserves are yet to return back to pre-Covid levels.

BUSINESS CONFIDENCE - Expectations of increasing profits and turnover remain a little flat and compare to the previous quarter; this may be explained by squeezed margins and uncertainty over further Covid complications.

BUSINESS COSTS AND CONCERNS - Rising raw material prices and inflationary pressures are the stand out features in this quarter’s data. Manufacturers expect to pass on these costs in the form of price increases at levels not reported in this survey’s 32 year history.

Read the latest QES Q4 report online

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The Quarterly Economic Survey is a regular snapshot of key information, such as local business activity, confidence and issues, which policy makers and government ministers use to inform their decisions and thinking. We incorporate statistics, based on data contributed by members, on sales, orders, export, employment and the impact of economic factors such as inflation and exchange rates to provide ministers with an accurate and up to date analysis of business in the Mid Yorkshire region.


If you want to see change and influence policy on the business issues that are important to your business then you need to ensure that you are feeding the information into the system. Participating in the QES is an effective strategy to have your voice heard by those who can do something about the business issues you care about.


Every quarter, we encourage Chamber members to participate in the online survey. All responses are anonymous so you can speak freely (if you wish to speak openly and directly to policy makers you should consider attending our Area Council Meetings). We analyse this data to create the QES report which is then sent to key government departments and financial institutions such as The Treasury and The Bank of England. The QES Report is also a very useful resource to inform your own business. To have your say please compete the survey here.

Why Mid Yorkshire Chamber?

The Mid Yorkshire Chamber and British Chambers of Commerce not only have the ears of policy makers but actively lobby government and demand a response. We regularly speak out through the media, both locally and nationally, on these issues because we are the voice of the British business community.


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