Region’s business confidence remains above UK average
Business confidence in the region slid three points in April but remains above the UK average, a new report released today reveals.
The latest Business Barometer from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking shows that companies in Yorkshire reported higher confidence in their business prospects, up four points to 20 per cent, but lower economic optimism, which has fallen eight points to 17 per cent. Together, this gives an overall confidence of 18 per cent, compared with a UK average of 14 per cent.
Businesses’ hiring intentions show a net balance of eight per cent of businesses in the region expect to hire more staff during the next year, down seven points on last month.
Across the UK, overall confidence climbed four points as both firms’ optimism about the economy and their confidence in their own prospects continued to climb from lows recorded earlier this year.
Companies’ economic optimism rose to four per cent, while their confidence in their own business prospects climbed three points to 23 per cent.
The Business Barometer questions 1,200 businesses monthly and provides early signals about UK economic trends both regionally and nationwide.
Kelly Green, regional director for Yorkshire at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “It’s very positive to see Yorkshire firms increasingly confident about their trading prospects, but perhaps surprising to see this isn’t reflected in their hiring intentions.
“By carefully managing working capital, firms can build their financial flexibility to increase staffing and take advantage of growth opportunities without harming day-to-day spending.
“We’ve pledged to lend up to £1.4bn to Yorkshire firms in 2019, including through working capital tools, to help firms make the most of the opportunities that come their way.”
Across the region, a net balance of two per cent of businesses said they felt the UK’s exit from the European Union is having a negative impact on their expectations for business activity.