Business confidence bounces back in South West according to Lloyds Bank survey

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Business confidence in the South West improved in November, according to an industry survey.

The latest Business Barometer from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking showed overall confidence rose 18 points to 20 per cent in November. This almost eliminated October’s fall of 22 points and ensuring the underlying picture – measured by the average over the past three months – shows overall confidence at 15 per cent.

This survey questions 1,200 businesses monthly and provides early signals about UK economic trends both regionally and nationwide.

Companies in the South West now report higher confidence in their business prospects, which rose 10 points to 25 per cent.

And a net balance of 16 per cent of firms said they were optimistic about the economy, compared with 12 per cent saying they were pessimistic last month.

More than 20 per cent of businesses in the region said they would expect to hire more staff during the next year, up 10 points on last month.

Adam Rainey, regional director for the South West at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “A much more positive picture has been painted by South West businesses during November, driven largely by greater optimism in the outlook for the UK economy.

“Firms will be hoping that they will soon be able to plan with greater certainty and are looking to create new jobs to take on whatever challenges and opportunities the New Year may bring.”

Meanwhile, 13 per cent of businesses said they felt that the UK’s exit from the European Union was having a negative impact on their expectations for business activity, compared with 27 per cent a month ago.

Across the UK, overall confidence bounced back, climbing five points to 24 per cent as firms’ optimism about the economy rose nine points to 17 per cent. Companies’ confidence in their own business prospects rose two points to 31 per cent.

Businesses in Yorkshire showed the most confidence, at 43 per cent, ahead of the West Midlands on 39 per cent and London at 34 per cent.

Those in the East Midlands were the least confident, with an overall confidence of 10 per cent, 14 points below the national average.

Firms in the manufacturing sector saw the largest increase overall, rising by 11 points to 32 per cent, while construction also registered a significant improvement of seven points to 29 per cent.

Concerns about the impact of leaving the EU were the highest in manufacturing and other services

Hann-Ju Ho, Senior Economist, Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking said: “Following last month’s dip, with business confidence reaching its lowest level since August 2017, it is reassuring to see that business confidence has picked up, helped by stronger economic optimism and hopes of a Brexit deal.”

Business confidence in the South West bounced back in November, according to an industry survey.

The latest Business Barometer from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking showed overall confidence rose 18 points to 20 per cent in November. This almost eliminated October’s fall of 22 points and ensuring the underlying picture – measured by the average over the past three months – shows overall confidence at 15 per cent.

This survey questions 1,200 businesses monthly and provides early signals about UK economic trends both regionally and nationwide.

Companies in the South West now report higher confidence in their business prospects, which rose 10 points to 25 per cent.

And a net balance of 16 per cent of firms said they were optimistic about the economy, compared with 12 per cent saying they were pessimistic last month.

More than 20 per cent of businesses in the region said they would expect to hire more staff during the next year, up 10 points on last month.

Adam Rainey, regional director for the South West at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “A much more positive picture has been painted by South West businesses during November, driven largely by greater optimism in the outlook for the UK economy.

“Firms will be hoping that they will soon be able to plan with greater certainty and are looking to create new jobs to take on whatever challenges and opportunities the New Year may bring.”

Meanwhile, 13 per cent of businesses said they felt that the UK’s exit from the European Union was having a negative impact on their expectations for business activity, compared with 27 per cent a month ago.

Nationwide:

Across the UK, overall confidence bounced back, climbing five points to 24 per cent as firms’ optimism about the economy rose nine points to 17 per cent. Companies’ confidence in their own business prospects rose two points to 31 per cent.

Businesses in Yorkshire showed the most confidence, at 43 per cent, ahead of the West Midlands on 39 per cent and London at 34 per cent.

Those in the East Midlands were the least confident, with an overall confidence of 10 per cent, 14 points below the national average.

Firms in the manufacturing sector saw the largest increase overall, rising by 11 points to 32 per cent, while construction also registered a significant improvement of seven points to 29 per cent.

Concerns about the impact of leaving the EU were the highest in manufacturing and other services

Hann-Ju Ho, Senior Economist, Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking said: “Following last month’s dip, with business confidence reaching its lowest level since August 2017, it is reassuring to see that business confidence has picked up, helped by stronger economic optimism and hopes of a Brexit deal.”