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Welsh firms pick productivity, growth and investment as top New Year’s resolutions

Welsh flag (Adobe Stock)

New research from Lloyds Bank has found that two fifths (42%) of firms in Wales are making New Year’s resolutions to improve their productivity, as businesses signal confidence in more positive macroeconomic conditions ahead. This optimism about the future comes after 2023 being a tough year for businesses, as they faced into high inflation and a sluggish economy.

The data revealed the top three areas where firms are focusing their attention as they head into the new year, with half (50%) concentrating on developing their business, nearly a third (29%) focusing on investing in energy efficiency measures, and more than a quarter (26%) increasing wages for employees.

As businesses take stock of 2023, many are reporting they are looking at ways to ensure they have a healthy cashflow, with more than a third (36%) of firms reporting plans to keep a closer eye on costs over the next 12 months.

The data also shows that businesses are setting themselves up for growth, by building teams to support new opportunities, with almost half (46%) expecting to hire more staff in the New Year.

With the expectation of inflation continuing to fall, more than two thirds (69%) of firms are confident that they will see their business become more profitable in 2024 compared to 2023.

Almost three quarters (74%) expect their turnover to increase in 2024. Of those expecting an increase in turnover, almost a quarter (22%) anticipate growth of 5%-10% and more than one in ten (12%) have eyes on growth of 11%-20%.

Sam Noble, regional director for Wales at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “After a challenging year, it’s encouraging to see Welsh businesses making plans to grow and develop in 2024. It’s apparent that the recent fall in inflation and stabilisation of interest rates are helping to create an environment where Welsh businesses feel more confident to make the investments needed to grow, whether that’s growing their teams or funding measures to become more energy efficient in future.

“If businesses in Wales continue to implement strategic growth plans and take the time to carefully manage their cashflow, they will be able to benefit from new opportunities and tackle any headwinds they may have to navigate in the year ahead.”