Confidence in rural economy 'higher'

PUBLISHED: 16:26 09 January 2009 | UPDATED: 08:29 28 March 2014

JANUARY 9, 2009: Confidence in the rural economy is higher than in the economy as a
whole, according to the new quarterly CLA Rural Economy Index.

The Country Land & Business Association index – the CLA REI – surveyed 100 rural business members across England and Wales and found that only five percent had no confidence in the rural economy over the next three to six months - compared to 42 percent with the economy in general.

And although more than three-fifths - 61 percent - said they were “not very confident” in the rural economy over the same period, half of those polled (50 percent) still expected their firms to be able to perform according to their business plans.

Furthermore, 16 percent even expected their rural business to perform well with potential for growth over the next three to six months and 18 percent were quietly confident about the state of the rural economy over the same period, whereas no one surveyed felt “quietly confident” about the general economy.

CLA President Henry Aubrey-Fletcher said: “The first findings of the CLA REI have been surprising with only 66 percent of respondents stating that they feel not very confident or have no confidence at all in the rural economy compared to a more expected 97 percent when asked the same question about the economy in general.”

He added: “The CLA is launching this quarterly economic indicator because the rural economy is often overlooked, despite the small businesses that operate in the countryside being the backbone of this nation’s economy as a whole.

“There was no rural index in operation that will give an overview of the rural economy in England and Wales - something the CLA has changed today with the launch of the CLA REI.”

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