27th November 2017.

Optimism Low in Customer Service

Optimism among companies in the dominant consumer services sector is falling as sales slide and costs jump sharply, a trade body has warned.

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has found that morale in consumer services, which include hotels, bars, restaurants, travel and leisure, has fallen to its lowest level since November 2011.

While a third of companies surveyed said that they were less optimistic about their business prospects than earlier in the year, only 11 per cent were decidedly more positive about their prospects.

The business and professional services sector, which includes accountancy; legal and marketing companies, were more optimistic, with prices and profitability increasing at a steady pace.

The services sector as a whole is by far the biggest contributor to the economy, accounting for roughly 80 per cent of GDP.

Nonetheless companies from the sector remain worried about the impact of Brexit on their businesses, particularly in terms of the overseas staff they employ. They also have been hit by rising costs as inflation has pushed up prices and the lower value of sterling has damaged their international buying power.

Anna Leach, the CBI’s head of economic intelligence, said it was “no surprise” that consumer service firms were having a tough time, and urges government to make “significant” progress in Brexit negotiations by the end of the year.

 James Salmon of the Credit Protection Association commented “This will be of concern to the suppliers of the consumer services sector. Added pressures to the sector will make it harder for these businesses to pay their suppliers. With tightened cash flow that are only going to pay those who are serious about chasing and will look for free credit from those who are not as tight in their credit control. CPA as always is here to help its members and make sure their payments are prioritised!”

The Credit Protection Association is a credit management company established in 1914. If you supply goods or services on credit then we can help you!

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