London business confidence highest in UK, report shows
The latest Business Barometer from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking has shown business confidence in London was the joint highest of all regions in the UK in January.
The Business Barometer, which is released monthly and has been running since 2002, was carried out on a regional basis for the first time, with 1,200 businesses surveyed.
The Barometer showed confidence in business prospects among London’s businesses stands at 51 per cent, higher than the UK’s average long-term average of 32 per cent. Companies also reported higher economic optimism at 43 per cent.
London and the North West had the strongest overall confidence of all regions at 47 per cent, 12 points higher than the UK’s average of 35 per cent. Economic optimism has also increased across the rest of the UK, rising by seven points to the highest in nine months.
The Barometer also showed business leaders in London are feeling positive about employment, with 40 per cent planning to take on more staff over the next year. A median annual increase in average pay of around one to two per cent is expected during this year.
Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking Regional Director for London and the South Mark Burton said that businesses across London have continued to be resilient in the face of uncertainty and are now the most confident in the UK about the year ahead.
“Two-fifths of firms in the region are expecting to increase their staff numbers over the next 12 months – which is great news for the region’s economy and a further indication of business leaders’ positive outlook for the capital during 2018,” he added.