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Urgent action needed, says chamber report.

MINISTERS must back up talk of "rebalancing" the economy towards manufacturing by taking urgent measures to boost business, says a leading industry organisation.

The latest quarterly survey of its members by the Lockwood-based Mid Yorkshire Chamber reported a "a clear climate of negativity" among companies - with a fall in export sales and orders offsetting a modest pick-up in domestic trade and employment prospects remaining flat.

It said: "The recovery continues to bump along with little momentum gathered on a quarterly basis and there has been negligible overall improvement since 2009. "Employment and employment expectations remain flat this quarter following an encouraging rise in quarter two this year.

"This is very disappointing and illustrates the ongoing difficulties faced by many businesses, who remain reticent and continue to defer growth plans as the economy falters."

Chamber president David Horsman said: "The economy in our region continues to bump along the bottom with very little sign of any gathering momentum or sustained recovery in any of the important economic indicators.

"In spite of some minor positives, the overall picture continues to indicate that business confidence remains at a low level and it is clear that employment and investment decisions are being strongly affected by ongoing uncertainty about the eurozone and worries about falling levels of demand and ongoing recession throughout the world. In short, the pessimistic economic outlook reported by our members throughout the year shows no sign of abating."

Mr Horsman said the chamber was lobbying for more to be done to encourage economic growth, provide incentives for businesses to bring forward investment and expansion plans and create jobs.

"The Government must take bold steps to improve affordable access to finance and provide immediate funding for important and spade-ready infrastructure projects," he said.

"Government rhetoric about rebalancing our economy towards manufacturing and exports now need to be backed-up by serious and targeted interventions to provide more valuable tax-breaks for manufacturing firms and meaningful financial incentives to exporters, particularly for businesses looking to expand into overseas markets for the first time."
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Oct 2, 2012
Words:338
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