Economic doubts give catering equipment suppliers the jitters

The Restaurant Group development kitchen

Catering equipment suppliers claim to be performing better economically than the same time last year, but admit they remain pessimistic about the future state of the economy.

Results from the latest CESA business barometer, published this morning, reflect continued confusion amongst UK manufacturers following the EU referendum, with 55% anticipating improved performance over the next three months compared to the same period last year.

This is contrasted by 38% of companies believing the economy will perform less well; 28% believing it will do better and 33% believing there will be no change.

Overall, the opinion of companies remains cautiously optimistic about their own future over the next month, with 42% reporting increased business turnover and 52% reporting increased sales compared to the same time last year.

More than 50% of suppliers are anticipating an increase in orders from UK and overseas companies, with 52% expecting an increase in turnover. 57% of companies expect staff numbers to remain the same, with 61% anticipating capital investment and research and development investment to remain the same.

While confidence in the short term is healthy, 42% are nervous about the performance of their business over the next 12 months, compared with 33% who are cautiously optimistic.

The concerns that companies have for the next 12 month are the uncertainty of the UK’s role in Europe, with 80% reporting that as their biggest worry.

68% are concerned about the lack of economic growth, while 56% of respondents are most worried about price increases and inflation and 57% reporting reduced demand from consumers as their biggest concern.

The CESA Business Barometer is compiled every quarter.

Later this week the trade association will hold its annual conference at the Forest of Arden Marriott Hotel in Birmingham.

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