In the latest quarter, the Business Activity, Profitability and Future Employment indicators for the finance industry were strongly positive, increasing further from the significantly positive levels recorded in the first quarter of the year.
Most other indicators for the finance sector were relatively unchanged on the previous quarter, including Business Optimism which remained positive and at the same level throughout the last four quarters.
There were encouraging signs generally for the economy, with the all-sector Business Activity indicator, for finance and non-finance sectors, showing improvement in the latest quarter.
Earlier this month, the Survey of Financial Institutions revealed that overall total annual net profits generated by the finance industry in 2013 stood at £1.18bn, a level consistent with figures for the past two years and the fourth best performance in the last 15 years.
Jersey’s more positive economic mood reflects the wider picture in the UK where a recent survey of businesses by Lloyds Bank reported that business confidence had climbed to its highest level for at least 22 years, raising hopes of continued economic growth.
Richard Corrigan, Deputy CEO, Jersey Finance commented:
“These latest local figures from government are welcome confirmation of the recovery and growth that we have been seeing in the market place, reinforcing the positive picture painted in the recent Survey of Financial Institutions. Three months ago, finance firms indicated through this survey that they were anticipating increases in new and future business, so it is promising that firms are now reporting those business flows coming to fruition and proving profitable. According to this survey, more than two-thirds of finance companies are anticipating that profits will increase in 2014.
In terms of employment, more than two-fifths of finance companies are reporting that employment numbers in June this year were greater than in June 2013, and the long-term outlook is also positive, with the same proportion of finance firms anticipating a future rise in employment.
With the finance industry tied so intrinsically to other sectors of Jersey’s economy, we are hopeful that these upward trends can help sustain an upward trajectory for other business areas too.”