Survey Shows UK Business Confidence Remains Bullish
Posted by siteadmin on Friday 30th of June 2017.
In its latest release, the Lloyds Bank ‘Business in Britain’ report indicates that the confidence index increased to 24%, double the figure recorded immediately following the UK’s Brexit referendum in June last year. The confidence index measures businesses’ expected sales and orders, and importantly, profits looking forward. It canvassed 1,500 UK companies in May, following the announcement of the general election.
Given that the average for the confidence index during the 25 years of its existence is 23%, the latest findings are an encouraging sign for the overall health of the domestic economy.
However, 52% of respondents also stated that over the last six months, they were finding it more difficult to acquire the skilled labour they require. This figure is a 10-year high and considerably higher than the 31% recorded in the last survey released in January this year.
A spokesperson for Lloyds Banking Group, Tim Hinton, said of these findings: “Although challenges remain in recruiting both skilled and unskilled labour, businesses are anticipating higher sales, increased profits and staffing levels to rise. However, the outlook remains mixed at best.”
It bodes well that four out of the six UK business sectors reported higher levels of confidence since that last report. The reason for this enthusiasm was a reported increase in demand seen from UK customers, which Lloyds attributed to factors other than the boost from weaker sterling, to exporters.
Senior economist at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, Hann-Ju Ho, was quoted as saying: “Although the pound’s value is seen as nearer to ‘fair value’, currency volatility remains a big concern for some UK businesses that trade internationally.”