Gloomy outlook during current economic slump

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A NEW survey reveals that Hampshire companies are struggling to trade well during the current recession.

Hampshire Chamber of Commerce, in its last quarterly members’ survey of 2011, discovered that less than a third of its members reported any increase in UK sales, seven per cent down on the previous three months.

Only 21 per cent, a fifth of members, saw an increase in orders, eight per cent lower than before.

The survey found 70 per cent were redefining plans and targets in view of the gloomy outlook.

Exporters also signalled a challenging time. Just 11 per cent saw an increase in overseas sales compared with 17 per cent in the previous quarter.

Only eight per cent saw an increase in orders, down two per cent on the three months before.

Captain Jimmy Chestnutt, Chief Executive of Hampshire Chamber, said: ‘This is a worrying time and we are in for some seriously challenging times ahead. ‘The government must do all it can to manage the downward pressures on business and maintain confidence in regional economies.’