Phil MeekinView Profile
Employment numbers are on the up in Yorkshire and the Humber again in October as Yorkshire enjoys the second consecutive month of growth since January. Year on year figures are on the rise and that is reflected in the monthly numbers of growth and improving business confidence for a good amount of businesses based in Yorkshire and the Humber.
As employment grows in the region, business activity is also on the rise with October’s figures seeing the sharpest increase in Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) since June 2015. The Lloyd’s Bank PMI for each region is sometimes seen as a check on the current state of the economy in each region of the UK.
Lloyd’s performs a survey of manufacturing and services based businesses in each region and based on the responses they piece together a report about the feeling and outlook of businesses in that area. Yorkshire and the Humber’s PMI, according to Lloyd’s Bank, rose from 55.6 in September to 57.9 in October, placing us well above to UK average of 54.8.
The main reasons for this growth, despite economic and political uncertainty, comes as a result of a weak pound attracting plenty of custom for our exports. Currently, there is a big demand for goods from the UK from a wealth of markets across the world making for some high order numbers for many businesses, including Yorkshire businesses.
However, the slump in the value of the pound has had an effect on other costs associated with running a business including the cost of importing raw materials and being able to afford to pay overheads and staff salaries. The increase in these costs has been the steepest in five and a half years.
Speaking to Business Quarter, regional director for Yorkshire at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, Leigh Taylor said; “The Yorkshire and Humber private sector economy started the fourth quarter on a strong footing… Activity growth picked up to a 16-month high, driven partly by a boost in international demand resulting from currency weakness.”
Amid the economic uncertainty, Yorkshire and the Humber seem to be doing well at managing the effects of Brexit and the US elections that have been felt so far. As exports and employment rates rise this should, for the time being at least, lessen the impact of price rises for raw materials and imports across all sectors.