Business confidence stabilises in UK, Lloyds Bank report shows
Lloyds Bank’s Business in Britain report from early 2017 has shown confidence among stabilised at the start of the year after a dip in the summer.
The report’s confidence index increased to 14 per cent, up from 12 per cent in September in the previous year.
The report, which gathers responses from over 1,500 UK companies, revealed top concerns among businesses, with 26 per cent citing economic uncertainty as the biggest threat of 2017. This is followed by worries a weaker pound at 17 per cent.
Confidence was found to be at its highest among businesses in the North East, with the Index showing a rise of 1 point to 22 per cent, followed by Scotland, where confidence increased by 15 points to 21 per cent.
The East of England also saw an increase in confidence, up by 1 point to 20 per cent, while confidence in the South West rose significantly, up by 13 points to 17 per cent.
Wales saw the biggest drop in confidence, down by 10 points to 15 per cent, followed by Yorkshire and the Humber, where confidence levels dropped by 15 points to 17 per cent. However, both scores were still above the UK average.
Lloyds Banking Group Managing Director, Mid Markets and SME Banking Tim Hinton stated confidence among businesses definitely dipped a bit after the EU referendum result but added that it picked up again in the last few months, though it was still lower than the long-term average.
He added: “Putting this in context, confidence remains well above the lows of the financial crisis, driven by demand both in the UK and abroad. The banking sector also has a much stronger capital position to withstand any shocks than in 2008/09, which should give businesses more confidence that their growth ambitions can be supported in the year ahead.”