Business confidence in Wales hits record high
Wales continues to outperform the UK as a whole in a range of key indicators, First Minister Carwyn Jones said as business confidence in Wales stands at a record high
Speaking ahead of a meeting with business representative at the Council for Economic Renewal, the First Minister said Wales is clearly recovering from the global recession at a faster pace than other parts of the UK, in contrast to claims made by the Deputy Governor of the Bank of England, Charlie Bean last week.
The First Minister also welcomed the most recent Business Confidence Monitor, published by ICAEW/Grant Thornton, which states that “confidence in Wales now stands at its highest on record, continuing on a general upward trend over the past two years”.
The First Minister said:
“The economy of Wales is outperforming the UK as a whole in a number of key areas and confidence among business professionals in Wales has hit a record high.
“Over the past year, we have seen the largest increase in the rate of employment and a lower rate of unemployment than the UK average. Thanks to innovative programmes, such as Jobs Growth Wales, we have seen a bigger fall in youth unemployment and economic inactivity than nearly all other parts of the UK.
“We are also seeing a bigger growth in private sector employment in Wales than in the rest of the UK. Our hard work to promote Wales abroad is also paying off, with Foreign Direct Investment increasing by 191% in the last year, compared to just 10% in England.
“These figures show that we are successfully using all the levers at our disposal to secure the recovery of the Welsh economy and create jobs. As such, the comments made by Mr Bean fail to reflect the reality of the situation here in Wales.
“We have stood up for Wales during these extremely tough times and the initiatives we are implementing are clearly working.”
The Council for Economic Renewal is chaired by the First Minister and meets three times a year. Membership includes a range of business representative organisations, the Wales TUC and social enterprise. The Council is a key opportunity for the Welsh Government to consult with businesses on policy that affects them.
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