The June Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) survey has indicated a rise in business confidence in the North West according to bank, NatWest, following a sharp decline due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Firms in the North West reported increased optimism towards the outlook for activity over the coming year in June, with sentiment at its highest since the beginning of lockdown in March. The New Business Index, measuring demand on businesses, while still indicating some decline, showed the fall in demand had slowed considerably from April’s record low at the peak of the outbreak in the UK.
While employment continued to fall due to suppressed demand, the North West region showed the second slowest rate of decline, after only the East Midlands, the bank reported that the data revealed in the PMI survey showed that economic metrics were trending in the right direction.
Richard Topliss, Chair, NatWest North Regional Board, commented:
There was more good news from the PMI survey in June showing the regional economy to be making positive progress. However, activity remains subdued particularly in the services sector where COVID 19 and associated containment measures continue to disrupt businesses and suppress demand. Job numbers were down once again during June and there will be more difficult decisions for businesses as they transition away from the furlough scheme in the coming months, but a rise in business confidence shows there’s growing light at the end of the tunnel.”
The NatWest North West PMI was compiled by IHS Markit from responses to questionnaires sent to North West companies that participate in IHS Markit’s UK manufacturing and services PMI surveys.