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Business Slows at End of 2012

While we were hoping that things would pick up towards the end of 2012, figures showing business activity growth indicate things slowed down at the end of the year according to the latest Lloyds TSB Regional Purchasing Managers’ Index. However, things varied all over the country, so there’s definitely more to it than average figures suggest.

The general figures indicate there is still slow business activity across the country. The figures for December indicate that it was below average for 2012 as a whole, showing a loss of momentum towards the end of the year, highlighting the difficult trading conditions that many businesses are facing up to.

However, some areas of the country performed better than others. Yorkshire and Humber was the strongest performing region in terms of output in December, with private sector activity rising at the fastest pace for three months. The West Midlands was also a strong performer showing above average figures and a moderate rise in business activity, showing a good contrast with decline in the region over the previous two months.

The story is not the same in the rest of the Midlands, though. The East Midlands, as well as the North West, recorded the weakest output, with the former demonstrating the fastest drop in business activity since April 2009.

The generally weak trends shown across the UK is reflected in a lower level of business orders in December. There was only a marginal rise in new business volumes, supported mainly by the West Midlands and London. The North West and East Midlands were dragging the figures down, both experiencing a significant slow down in business towards the end of the year.

If your business needs a way to pick up new business in the new year, getting your cash flow sorted is one step in the right direction. Invoice finance is one way to achieve this – unlock the capital tied up in unpaid invoices to give yourself some breathing room.

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