CE Barometer results for September 2021

By Mike Hayes20 October 2021

Healthy current climate, but growing concerns over continued recovery

The September 2021 barometer survey was undertaken during the first two weeks of October.

As an overview, there appears to be a levelling off of growth, and, while business is clearly better now than it was a year ago, optimism about the future is tempered with concerns about new challenges, including the well-reported supply chain issues and materials shortages.

This month, the balance figure (the difference between those reporting positive and negative movement between August and September 2021) stands at 30.9%, up almost 10% on the previous survey.

While the percentage of respondents seeing an improvement in business remains the same as in the previous month, the number seeing a drop in business has basically halved (down to 10.3% from 20%).

Looking back to the same time a year ago, the number seeing a drop in business is now down to just 7.4% of respondents – a clear indication that the worst of Covid is behind us. Again, though, there is an increase in the percentage of respondents reporting a stabilisation of business, as opposed to continued growth.

Nonetheless, an impressive 69.1% of respondents are enjoying healthier business levels than they were last year.

Having seen a number of false starts, however – and no doubt concerned about supply chain and recruitment issues – respondents are understandably circumspect about the future.

Looking a year ahead, 50% believe business will continue to improve, down from 60% in the last survey.

Almost all of those lost from the ‘optimistic’ column, have shifted to the other extreme, with almost 10% growth in respondents expecting a dip in business in 12 months’ time.

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