Business confidence upbeat as firms plan hiring spree

Business confidence in the West Midlands fell six points during September to 36%, in line with the year-to-date average of 36%, according to the latest Business Barometer from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking.

Companies in the West Midlands reported lower confidence in their own business prospects month-on-month, down two points at 41%. When taken alongside their optimism in the economy, down 12 points to 30, this gives a headline confidence reading of 36%.

West Midlands businesses identified their top target areas for growth in the next six months as entering new markets 42%, investing in their teams 38% and introducing new technology 29%.

The Business Barometer, which surveys 1,200 businesses monthly, provides early signals about UK economic trends both regionally and nationwide.

A net balance of 38% of businesses in the region expect to increase staff levels over the next year, up 26 points on last month.

Dave Atkinson regional director for the West Midlands at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “It’s fantastic to see that business confidence in the region remains firmly in positive territory as we head into the colder months.

“Firms in the West Midlands are committed to their teams and it’s encouraging to see that so many companies are intending to increase their staff levels in the coming months. Businesses seeking expansion should review their working capital, to ensure they have the funds they need to make the most of opportunities as they arise.

“As always, we’ll remain by the side of West Midlands businesses and support them with their growth ambitions.”

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