Wales

Hopes for spare cash low in Wales, survey finds

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Media captionOvertime is back at the D and M foundry in Merthyr Tydfil

A poll for BBC Wales shows only one out of seven people questioned expect to have more spare cash in two years time.

The results come despite the fact that the UK economy has been growing for nine months.

New figures show GDP (Gross Domestic Product) increased by 0.8% between June and September, the biggest rise for three years.

That trend may need to continue well into next year before people in Wales generally begin to experience recovery.

Today's GDP figures are good news for both the UK and Wales.

What is interesting is that the growth is across all industrial categories.

Agriculture has grown 1.4%, construction by 2.5%, services by 0.7% and production by 0.5%.

When you look at the parts that make up the production sector manufacturing has grown by 0.9% and that is a sector that is more significant in Wales than the UK as a whole.

In the UK manufacturing accounts for 11% of the economy whereas in Wales it accounts for 17%.

In fact, of the countries in the UK, Wales has the largest proportion of its economy taken up by manufacturing.

The construction growth that is shown in today's GDP figures has been helped by an increase in spending on private housing and private commercial properties.

Flat out

At the D and M foundry on the Pant Industrial estate in Merthyr Tydfil the 25 employees are working overtime again.

The privately owned firm, struggled to survive the recession five years ago.

It shed workers but has now taken people on and they are working flat out.

Owner and managing director Phil Corke says they have been helped by increased spending by shoppers and businesses in the south east of England.

He says that half of their turnover is now on work from that area.

They make display shelving for most supermarkets as well as ornamental fencing for public buildings and structures for road building.

Image caption A lack of skilled welders could hold back some companies

Mr Corke says the company has seen a pick-up in orders from Wales and in the construction sector because of investment in roads by the Welsh government.

He says the fact that they work for many different clients across various sectors makes their income more resilient.

D and M's production manager Simon Griffiths says what is also vital is that the work is delivered on time to the client at the right price.

He says a company of D and M's size is well placed to be flexible enough to satisfy clients' requests.

Phil Corke says the one factor that is holding the company back is a shortage of skilled welders.

He says two employees have recently been, in effect, poached by other companies and he says he thinks similar skills shortages could weaken Wales' economic recovery.

However, a poll by ICM research for BBC Wales shows that 6 out of 7 people questioned do not expect to have more money in two years time once they've paid essential bills.

The poll also found that while 58% of the 750 people questioned were confident that Wales would benefit if the UK economy became stronger, 37% didn't.

Men were found to be more optimistic than women.

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