Northamptonshire businesses seeing light at the end of the tunnel

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COUNTY businesses are painting a brighter economic picture as new figures reveal an increase in sales both in the UK and overseas.

Northamptonshire firms have reported a significant increase in export sales during the first quarter of 2012, with manufacturing firms seeing an increase of 15 per cent and services companies 14 per cent.

The services sector also reported a 24 per cent increase in export orders – eight per cent more than the national average.

Services businesses in the county have also seen a 10 per cent rise in sales and that fewer manufacturing businesses had seen a drop in sales.

The figures were revealed as part of Northamptonshire Chamber’s Quarterly Economic Survey , which surveys its member companies in the county to obtain an accurate picture of the local economy.

Northamptonshire Chamber chief executive Paul Griffiths said: “It is great to see export sales and orders are up in the county and that both sectors are actively recruiting again. However, there is still some way to go, with the services industry struggling to find the right staff and manufacturers still largely working below full capacity. Increases in energy, fuel and postage costs will not help.

“These results, both locally and nationally, point to a welcome improvement in the economy and chances of a double-dip recession look less likely.”