London businesses are continuing to grow, but are increasingly cautious amid increasing concerns about the domestic and global economy, according to a new report out today from the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) and Centre for Economic and Business Research (CEBR).
The report, which included responses from over 500 London business leaders, found that firms in the capital have recorded moderately positive performance, with increasing demand for goods and services in the fourth quarter. Nearly one in four businesses reported increases in domestic sales over the last three months, while 15 per cent reported a decrease. There was also a small uptick in exports, with 8 per cent reporting an increase in export sales and 4 per cent reporting a decrease.
CEBR chief economic adviser Vicky Pryce said the results “confirm the general picture across the UK which is one of slow growth in exports, particularly affecting manufacturing”.
“This is partly due to a stronger sterling but also to unusually weak world trade growth for this point in the cycle,” Pryce added. “A slowdown in the emerging markets is to a large measure responsible for that, but also geopolitical tensions – which have if anything intensified recently.
“The result is that businesses are increasingly cautious, with investment intentions slowing down with much of the focus on cost-cutting and rationalisation to achieve efficiencies.”
LCCI chief exec Colin Stanbridge said firms are “performing well amid a growing business consensus that UK economic growth is stabilising”, but added, “In order to protect the capital’s position as a world-leading place to do business, government must now look to cement a strong London economy for the medium and longer term.”