It’s not all doom and gloom here

Pic to illustrate busy Blackpool on the final weekend of the Lights.'Shoppers throng Victoria Street outside Houndshill. PIC BY ROB LOCK / crowds / busy / shopping

Pic to illustrate busy Blackpool on the final weekend of the Lights.'Shoppers throng Victoria Street outside Houndshill. PIC BY ROB LOCK / crowds / busy / shopping

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DIFFICULT trading conditions have not affected firms on the Fylde too badly, according to a new economic survey.

The Chamber of Commerce’s Quarterly Economic Survey (QES) reveals in the first part of the year, 78 per cent of firms operating in the services sector have seen their sales increase or stay the same.

Encouragingly for businesses, there was also a 12 per cent rise in the number of firms reporting an increase in advance orders and bookings.

Hugh Evans, deputy chief executive of North West and Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, said: “While domestic growth continues to bump along the bottom, the silver lining is an increase in firms looking for export opportunities, and in many cases, with countries outside Europe.

“In total, the survey results indicate weak, but still positive, UK growth.

“For Fylde coast businesses overcoming the obstacles precluding the return of our economy to normal growth will be difficult and will take time.

“Prospects will improve later in the year and in 2013, as falling inflation improves consumers’ disposable incomes, and our exporters persevere with efforts to diversify their sales into faster growing markets outside Europe.”

Steven Broomhead, chairman of the Lancashire Economic Commission added: “This increase in sales for the services sector, which follows positive labour market figures recently, proves excessive pessimism over the state of the UK economy is unjustified. Falling inflation is clearly playing a role in reviving consumer demand.”