Friday, 01 August 2014 20:38

Rural investment set to rise - survey

Written by  Ruralcity Media
Rural investment set to rise - survey

JOBS and investment in the rural economy are set to rise over the next 12 months, suggests a survey.

Both farming and non-agricultural businesses are expecting to increase investment, according to data from the CLA's Rural Economy Index (REI).

The survey, produced in conjunction with rural surveyors Smiths Gore, focuses on the first half of 2014.

Optimism amongst agricultural businesses is up 6% reaching a net balance of 42%, the highest since the survey started in 2012.

This has resulted in more farming businesses expecting to invest further in their businesses – a net balance of 36%, up from 6%.

Non-agricultural rural businesses have also become more positive about business investments, with a net balance of 46% expecting higher investment in the next 12 months – again the highest level recorded by the REI.

CLA eastern region director Nicola Currie said: "It is extremely good news that the recovery in the rural economy now appears to be firmly rooted.

"The survey offers great encouragement with its findings that investment is expected to rise in both the farming sector and non-farming businesses – this is vital if the rural economy is to continue to grow and recover.

"Farming businesses are expecting to employ more staff in the next 12 months and more non-agricultural businesses now expect to employ more people.

"We certainly seem to have turned a corner in terms of economic recovery in the eastern region, which had seemed very much in the doldrums during 2012."

Jason Beedell, head of research at Smiths Gore said: "Almost 40% of the non-agricultural rural businesses reported higher sales over the past six months and 58 percent expect sales growth next year – fantastic news for the rural economy as a whole."

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