Limited company contractors will be interested to hear that august has seen a pickup in confidence among UK firms with regards to their own trading prospects.
Research from Lloyds Bank revealed that business confidence continued to strengthen last month, with firms’ expectations of their own prospects and of the economy remaining well above their long-term averages.
The latest Lloyds Bank Business Confidence Barometer shows the net balance of firms’ expecting their own prospects to increase rose by nine points to 62%, which is the survey’s strongest reading since February’s record high of 66%.
The Lloyds Bank Business Confidence Barometer also found that there were contrasting movements with regards to the broad sectors and regions.
For example, the net balance of overall confidence for firms in ‘consumer services’ rose by five points to 55%, and expected trading prospects also improved among companies in industry (up 16 points to 73%) and business & other services (up 12 points to 58%).
However, these firms also reported slightly larger declines in their net balances for the general economic outlook (down 17 and 13 points to 44% and 41% respectively).
Looking at the regional analysis, business sentiment increased in the Midlands and South by 10 and 11 points to 56% and 63% respectively, but declined in the North by 22 points to 39%.
Trevor Williams, Chief Economist, Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, commented on the findings, “August has been another strong month for firms’ confidence about their own prospects. Although there was a small dip in optimism about the wider economy, overall confidence remains above its long-run average. We therefore expect economic growth to remain solid over the months ahead.”
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