Lloyds report shows increase in business confidence in London
The latest Business in Britain report from Lloyds Bank has shown that business confidence in London has reached its highest level since 2016.
The report surveyed more than 1,500 businesses on their expected sales, orders and profits over the next six months and found that business confidence has risen to 25 per cent, an improvement on figures from July 2017 and after the EU referendum in 2016, when business confidence stood at 20 per cent and just 4 per cent respectively.
The report, which is in its 26th year, showed that as a result of a rise in business confidence, the number of businesses that are planning to grow investment over the next six months has increased by six points to 16 per cent.
Hiring skilled workers was found to be one of the main challenges for businesses, with the number of companies reporting this problem increasing by two points to 55 per cent. This figure was found to be the highest of any other region in the UK and also higher than the UK’s average of 46 per cent.
Businesses in the South East were found to be feeling less positive, with business confidence dropping to 24 per cent, down from 28 per cent in July 2017. However, the net balance of businesses that are looking to grow investment increased by six points to 14 per cent.
Commenting on the report’s figures for the South East, Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking Regional Managing Director for London and the South East Mark Burton said: “Businesses across the South East have been affected by economic and political uncertainty.”
He added: “Although this has had an impact on confidence, companies are still keen to increase investment in the first half of next year.”