ECONOMIC recovery in the region relies heavily on how other countries perform, according to an East Lancashire business leader.
This week it was announced the UK had come out of recession after a one per cent rise in output in the three months from July to September.
And there are some signs of recovery in East Lancashire according to businesses in the area.
Mike Damms, chief executive of the East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, said outside factors had a large bearing on how the county performs.
He said: “The trouble with East Lancashire is that it is not an isolated economy.
“It is one of the world’s great trading areas. We trade with everybody and everywhere.
“So how those other countries are doing has a great bearing on how we do here in East Lancashire.
“But generally speaking, there has been a lot of economic recovery in the region over the last nine months, not just three, which is why we have seen a growth in employment.”
Nationally, there were doubts over the strength of the the UK’s recovery from the longest double-dip recession since 1950.
The growth in output was flattered by the effects of the Olympic Games and a bounce back from the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations in the previous quarter.
The UK has been battling against sluggish consumer spending, Government cuts and high unemployment, while the struggling eurozone has hit exports.
While the third quarter beat expectations and grew at the fastest pace since the third quarter of 2007, the economy was still 3.1 per cent below its peak in the first quarter of 2008.
Chancellor George Osborne said the UK still faced “many economic challenges at home and abroad”.
I haven’t seen any improvement recently and I suspect nobody else has.
There hasn’t been any difference since the new Government came in.
Trade has been slowly declining for about two or three years.
You just have to deal with things like this and work even harder.
Tom Turner, Turner’s Butchers, Darwen Market
We aren’t complaining at the moment.
On the industrial side of the business there has certainly been an uptake in interest recently and a more positive attitude, and that has been mirrored in the retail aspect.
When they make an announcement like this one it is a psychological thing as it puts people in a positive mindset and gives people the feel good factor that we aren’t in a recession.
Peter Hobkirk, Hobkirk’s Sewing Machines, Blackburn
It has been a tough couple of years but the town is definitely picking up.
People are starting to spend again, but there are still tough times ahead I think.
I have been here now for two years and I am building the business up but I am happy with the way things are going.
You see a lot of big firms going out of business, but I am still here.
Amanda Hanson, Sweet William Florists, Burnley
Business is challenging and people are being more careful.
We have to convince them that spending money in our shop is a good idea and that they are getting value for money.
Yesterday’s announcement is good news. It has been a tough time but I am optimistic we will be busy over the Christmas period.
Peter Jackson, Peter Jackson The Jeweller, Blackburn
I think there has been a lot of fear but even before this announcement, people who were previously worried about spending on luxury items, such as grapes, are now loosening up a bit and treating themselves.
I would say we are going the right way now.
Businesses can get caught in the atmosphere of a recession and park up, but we have tried to keep moving.
It is the overheads that kill traders, like business rates. We could do with some help from the Government with that.
Duncan Allton, All Fruits, Burnley Market
We are one of the few companies that has done quite well despite the recession.
There was a bit of a slow down after the Olympics but now we are as busy as ever.
We have taken on 67 new staff this year and it is business as usual.
Jean-Yves Dziki, WEC, Darwen
In the design and maintenance of aerospace technology we have seen a dramatic increase in exports.
I do not believe there has been any recession in this sector.
But there needs to be some more positivity in people.
All of the negativity is bad as it stops people from having the confidence to make investments.
Dennis Mendoros, Euravia, Kelbrook
The recession may have lifted down south but it certainly hasn’t up here.
It is a general struggle from week to week.
Banks just aren’t lending anybody anything to build houses with, so there is very little development.
We have managed to plod along but it hasn’t got any better.
John Clough, Fourtex Dry Lining, Burnley