Saturday, 12 January 2013

9 research polls and the future of Selling in 2013

The prediction business has been in full flow at the beginning of the year.
 The stalemate of the Republicans and Democrats pulled the US and us all(!) back from the Fiscal Cliff – for the moment.
Will we have a triple dip recession?  Will the Euro zone falter ? Will UK lose its AAA rating?
The expert analysts seem split on almost everything  from which  Supermarket won the Christmas race to the end of the world.
Some are seeking green shoots of recovery , other prefer to relish the gloomy straws  of a triple dip.

I guess we members of the unwashed must ignore a lot of what we hear day to day and half of what we see. Much will depend on our psychological make up. Optimistic or Pessimistic.
There seem to be an amazing number of videos around from the stand up comedians. They each have to offer their USP to differentiate from each other. Some are cheerful and optimistic others prefer the sceptical  or even morose approach.
I guess those of us in selling have to elect to be optimistic but also realistic.
Maybe we can look at the forecasts from the pundits  as the comedian Russel Howard does in his Good News show in an upbeat way.
Here is a round up of the first fortnight's worth of Trade and Selling related data. make of the data what you will. Here are 9 reports that caught my eye.

1. Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS) Index published January 2013  as reported by London Evening Standard 2nd  January 2013

Score of over 50 signals growth December 2012 UK hit 51.4

Manufacturers enjoyed their fastest expansion for 15 months.

The revival was driven by rising UK orders more than offsetting another fall in export orders.

An eighth month run of job shedding among manufacturers also looks like coming to a halt

Chief Executive of CIPS David Noble

“While December’s figures do not reverse the disappointing performance over the year as a whole, manufacturers will hope that the solid upturn in production volumes is the first sign of a more stable footing going into 2013”
2.  UK job seekers faced more opportunities in the final three months of 2012 than at any other point since 2009 when Reed started their index. Reed report than 81% of sectors had better shape than a year before.

November 140

December 134  but Dec 2012 was 121

“2012 has been a consistent recovery for the jobs market” MD Mark Rhodes said “We have seen growth across the board in the majority of sectors and regions and employers are becoming increasingly less cautious about their approach to taking on new personnel”

Northern Ireland and the North East posted the highest growth among the regions , all of which enjoyed some improvement with already strong London also seeing  opportunities up 10% over the year.

3. The Lloyds TSB business confidence index climbed to 19% looking forward to 2013 up from 12.5%

Sales and orders likely to be on the rise

Prospects for the first half of 2013 look more positive with expectations for total sales and orders in the next six months – two of the key barometers of business confidence - both improving. Over a third of businesses (36 %) said that they expect orders to increase during the first half of the year, compared to one in ten (12 %) that think orders will fall. This results in a 24 % overall net balance expecting orders to increase.

Two fifths of businesses (43 %) stated that they think sales will increase in the next six months, while a fifth (19 %) expect a decline, leading to a 24 % overall net balance expecting sales to increase.

The confidence levels for both sales and orders were last surpassed in the July 2010 survey.

 4. According to a poll from the Institute of Directors (IOD) the number of Directors who thought 2013 would be better than 2012 surged ahead of those with a pessimistic outlook by 31%

This result reverses the balance of minus 31% in the same poll last year.

Despite this optimism, they remain worried about the possibility of the recession turning into a triple dip with 65% thinking there was a moderate risk or high risk of a renewed slump.
5.  The UK will probably have negative growth in Q4 2012 and there must be a chance of a weak Q1 2013 as well, although data from the ICAEW Grant Thornton Business Confidence Monitor and FSB Small Business Index have been encouraging enough to suppose there are cautious grounds for optimism going into 2013. So CEBR gives a 50-50 chance on a triple dip.
6. The Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply’s  (CIPS)  services activity index sank to 48.9 for December. The index was depressed by a fall in new business with clients reluctant to commit to spending amid economic uncertainty. Chief executive of CIPS David Noble said “ The underlying trend is one of continuing uncertainty. Businesses are holding back on investment, leading to falls in employment and increased spare capacity”
Rob Harbron economist at CEBR  “ As the service sector makes up nearly three quarters of the UK economy, a contraction in the sector is bad news for economic growth”
7.  Manufacturing is responsible for half of UK exports and its productivity regularly outpaces economic growth so it’s worth taking note of EEF.
The manufacturers organisation for the UK EEF reckon manufacturers will produce  just 0.7 % in 2013 down from earlier forecasts of 1.5 % growth.
However on the more positive side 30%   of firms said they expected overall conditions to improve versus 23% who expected the economic climate to worsen.
EEF boss Terry Scuoler believes factory firms could boost exports and add more value despite global difficulties. “ The past year has been a challenging one for manufacturers , but as they look to 2013 there is still potential  for growth in their business. The increase in investment in recent years will bear fruit as companies see opportunities  from new product development and the commercialisation of new technology.”
But firms were still worried about a slowdown in the world economy with around two thirds of companies citing that as the biggest risk to growth  risk to growth up from just 1 in ten last year (2012).
8.  The 2012 Deloitte fourth quarter survey took place between 25th November and 11th December. 112 CFOs participated, including the CFOs of 36 FTSE 100 and 38 FTSE 250 companies. The rest were CFOs of other UK listed companies, large private companies and UK subsidiaries of major companies listed overseas. The combined market value of the 84 UK listed companies surveyed is £672 billion, or approximately 35% of the UK quoted equity market.
Conducted over the fourth quarter of 2012 93% of finance chiefs surveyed said there was a 40% chance the UK would suffer a return to economic contraction in the coming years.
But the survey’s results were not entirely negative . Those expecting a return to recession in the next two years was lower than in the last two quarters and overall economic confidence moved marginally into positive territory.
9.  CEBR and FSA Ups and dons of FSA approved jobs
Ups                                                          Change on 2008 peak
Insurance Brokers                                   up to 10, 846 ( peaked in Feb 2005 at 11,970)
Fund managers (investment advice)     up to 7.7%  to 45,911
Financial technical support                    up to 22% to 912
Research and outsourced services         up to 41% to 2,539
Downs                                                     Change on 2008 peak
All approved persons                              Down 10.6% to 151,835
Lending                                                   Down 17.2 % to 36,380
Finance and Brokers                               Down 54% to 1,454
Traders                                                    Down 13% to 21052
Debt Management                                                 Down 19% to 153
Investment distributors                          Down 12.1 % to 27,661
Insurance firms                                       Down 26.8% to 4,809
Insurance support services                     Down 7% to 1,048
Life firms and mutual                             Down 14% to 1530
The drop in regulated jobs continues . The FSA’s approved  persons list down 10.6 % on Fevruary 2008.The banking centre led the decline with 17.2 % fall taking the number of staff down to 36,380. The large-scale savings at UBS  11,000 and Bank of America losing 16,000. Big banks have high cost bases, there is little activity in bond, equity and derivative markets so they are cutting back according to Robert Harbron of Centre for Economics and Business research who estimates 100,000 city jobs have been lost since the financial crisis.  But a few areas have seen growth with the number in investment advice roles up 7.7%.



No comments:

Post a Comment