Isle Of Man Business Confidence Rallies
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
A survey of business leaders from a spectrum of Isle of Man based companies -
spanning manufacturing, professional services, e-business, shipping, aircraft
and finance - reveals confidence levels on the Isle of Man remain strong despite
wider economic uncertainty.
Two thirds (62%) of businesses have seen only a small reduction in turnover
(0% – 10%) since the start of the global recession. 84% of firms polled
expect to post a profit in the year ahead, compared to 70% of firms who were
asked the same questions six months ago.
Looking ahead, more than two thirds (69%) of companies expect to grow over
the next 12 months. Nearly one in five (18%) predict their firm will shrink
over the next year although two in three of such businesses (12%) say they only
expect to shrink “a little”. The most pertinent issue facing Isle
of Man businesses is diversifying into new markets and products (33%).
Nearly half (46%) of firms do not see themselves taking any cost cutting measures
over the next year. For those that need to reduce outgoings it appears the last
12 months has forced companies to focus on staff-related costs with travel and
entertainment (32%) and salaries (25%) topping the list. The research also shows
that research and development is still a priority as only 5% of firms look to
cut back on spending in this area.
Minister for Trade and Industry, David Cretney, said: “It is encouraging
to see that businesses on the Isle of Man remain positive about the outlook
for the year ahead. The performance of our economy is holding up well: the Isle
of Man has avoided recession and the latest figures are encouraging with National
Income forecast to grow by 2.5% this year (and 4% next year), low unemployment
(2.1%) and low inflation (1.3%).
“The Isle of Man government’s diversification strategy has provided
some protection against the global economic downturn and we plan to continue
this strategy over the next 12 months. In addition, close public and private
sector cooperation and the ability to offer a range of financial incentives
such as capital grants and loans to businesses has assisted in attracting businesses
with innovative new ideas and we are confident economic growth on the Isle of
Man will remain strong as the world economy emerges from recession.”
Concluding, Treasury Minister, Allan Bell, opined: “Because of the policy
of diversification pursued by the Isle of Man government in recent times, the
economy is now less reliant on any one sector or geographical area and this
has helped to shield the economy from the worst of the current downturn. Indeed
this policy will help to ensure that the Island’s economy fully recovers
ahead of the majority of our competitors.”