Confidence among UK’s private sector firms recovers to strongest level
Business confidence in the UK’s private sector has recovered to its strongest level since the middle of 2015, according to data from the Markit UK Business Outlook Survey.
The research, which surveyed 12,000 manufacturers and service providers, found that it has now reached 52 per cent as fears over Brexit begin to subside.
The reasons for the sharp rise in confidence in 2017 were identified in the survey, with respondents citing a resilient domestic economic backdrop and improving client demand as contributing factors.
The research found that UK businesses are planning to increase their staff in 2017 as concerns surrounding Brexit begin to fade and optimism increases.
The number of businesses planning to recruit extra staff increased to 27 per cent in February from 19 per cent in October.
The number of businesses planning to increase capital expenditure is also at a high of 13 per cent, up from the average level of 7 per cent last year.
IHS Markit Senior Economist Tim Moore said: “While a number of firms cited heightened uncertainty about the path to Brexit, it seems clear that these concerns have receded in comparison to the projections reported last autumn.”