The three month snapshot of industry activity is included in the Jersey Business Tendency Survey, published Wednesday (7 October) for the quarter ending September 2015 by the States of Jersey Statistics Unit.
Whilst six of the ten indicators for the finance industry in the survey declined compared to the previous quarter. The overwhelming majority of firms (82%) reported similar or increasing levels of business activity, whilst around two-fifths of firms were more positive about future business activity compared to the previous quarter.
In addition, and following the recent announcement from Barclays that it is to create 65 new jobs in Jersey, there was an uptick in the Employment indicator for the finance industry, with almost one third of finance firms seeing an increase in employment compared to the previous quarter. The survey also revealed that larger finance companies are particularly positive on future business activity, whilst smaller firms were very positive on future employment.
The survey very much provides a snapshot of the economy at the given time and drawing firm conclusions from it is difficult. The summer period, for instance, is often relatively flat for business activity, whilst volatility in the Chinese market, the resulting poor global hedge fund performance, and uncertainty in the US surrounding interest rates, have all likely had an impact on the market sentiment which feeds through into business confidence. I believe these concerns are over done and will fade over the next quarter.
However, it’s clear that Jersey’s finance industry is continuing to demonstrate an element of stability, that there is positive sentiment surrounding employment, and that firms are optimistic about future business flows. Overall, these are all good signs and reinforce the positive findings of the recent ‘Measuring Jersey’s Economy GVA and GDP’ report, which reported a 9% annual increase in economic activity in the finance industry year in 2014.