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Businesses in the North East back a better 2023 despite challenging economy

Jan 2, 2023 | Business

The majority of businesses in the North East expect 2023 to be more successful than 2022, despite challenging economic forecasts, according to the latest data from Lloyds Bank.

Eight in 10 of the region’s firms (80%) said they are confident they would have greater success in the coming 12 months, compared to the past year. Only 13% were not confident about being more successful in 2023 and only 2% expected their business to perform at the same level in the next year. The research was carried out between December 1 and December 14 as part of additional polling for the monthly Lloyds Bank Business Barometer.

Firms in the North East projected a more upbeat outlook for 2023, with almost two-thirds (63%) expecting a higher turnover than in 2022. Almost a quarter  of businesses (24%) expect turnover to increase by between 5% and 19%, and a fifth (20%) anticipate turnover to increase by more than 20%.

When businesses were asked what they would do to fuel growth, 93% said they were planning an investment drive. Businesses reported that funding would be used to invest in staff (37%), grow their business (37%) and invest in energy efficiency measures (30%).

Alongside investment, North East businesses plan on making several New Year’s resolutions. These include upskilling existing staff (37%), growing revenue from existing clients (36%) and keeping a  closer eye on costs (34%), with 11% set to invest in paying bonuses and short-term incentives. More than a third (36%) are intending to target growth from their existing customer base.

Steve Harris, regional director for the North East at Lloyds Bank said: “It’s encouraging to see such strong optimism for the year ahead among firms here in the North East, and that a large proportion are expecting a higher turnover in 2023.

“This year, of course, hasn’t come without its challenges, but it’s testament to firms’ resilience that they have such a positive outlook for the new year.

“To make the most of any opportunities that come their way, it’s vital that businesses keep a close watch on working capital to stay agile and ready to drive growth.”