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East of England businesses split on the prospects for UK economy over next 12 months

East of England businesses split on the prospects

More than half of leading businesses in the East of England are feeling negative about the economic prospects for the next 12 months according to a poll by advisors KPMG.

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More than half of leading businesses in the East of England are feeling negative about the economic prospects for the next 12 months according to a poll by advisors KPMG.

Over 50 businesses were surveyed during an Economic update meeting hosted by KPMG and were asked how they felt about the prospects for the UK over the next year. Over half (54%) were feeling negative, with just 24% feeling positive and a fifth (22%) unsure about the next 12 months.

The results came on the back of research by KPMG* which found that the East of England could be the third worst hit region in the country following the lockdown. It found that the region will be more impacted than many others across the UK and is likely to see -7.9% GVA growth in 2020.  Areas such as North Norfolk, Great Yarmouth, West Suffolk and Fenland are projected to be hardest hit this year due to the high number of labour intensive sectors in the region expected to be impacted by the pandemic.

Commenting on the findings, Richard Watson, head of tax for KPMG in the East of England said :

“For many businesses across the region this is a difficult and very uncertain time.  The COVID-19 situation introduced a major shock where businesses were stopped in their tracks and many have found huge changes to the business environment since we’ve emerged from lockdown.

“With the prospect of a second lockdown still a very real threat, businesses really need to make sure they are planning for all scenarios.  The Brexit impact will add another layer of challenge for businesses – especially for exporters.

“Whilst we are expecting a sharp recession, we are hoping for a relatively quick recovery which will remain flat until a vaccine is in place.  With growing numbers of job losses being announced in labour-intensive and low skilled sectors – the challenge the region faces is how we provide people with pathways into medium to higher skilled roles in order to drive growth and productivity long term. While we have some of the best businesses in the world located in our region, the challenge will be in making sure all our communities feel they have an opportunity to play their part in the new digital age.” 

 

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For further information please contact :

Emma Murray

KPMG

T : 020 7694 6506

M : emma.murray@kpmg.co.uk

Follow us on twitter: @kpmguk   KPMG Press Office: +44 (0)207 694 8773

Notes to Editors:

* KPMG’s latest Economic Outlook can be found here

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