Lloyds Bank: ‘Confidence rises in North East Business

Lloyds Bank: ‘Confidence rises in North East
Business confidence in the North East rose three points during October to three per cent. This follows more local firms expecting to hire new staff, according to the latest Business Barometer from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking.

Companies in the North East report higher confidence in their business prospects, which rose eight points on last month to 15 per cent. When taken alongside their views of the economy overall, this gives an overall confidence of three per cent.

Businesses’ hiring intentions showed that a net balance of 19 per cent of businesses in the region expect to hire more staff during the next year – the highest result of any UK region and a rise of seven points on September 2019’s results.

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

This recent survey was conducted before the government announced its new deal on the UK’s departure from the EU.

Kelly Green, regional director for the North East at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “It’s great to see local firm’s confidence in their own business prospects climb this month, which is reflected in their hiring intentions – news that will be welcomed across the region. “This year we’ve committed to lending North East businesses up to £700m, and we’ll be by their side with funding and advice to help them grow and recruit.”

Across the region, a net balance of four per cent of businesses said they felt that the UK’s exit from the EU was having a negative impact on their expectations for business activity.

Businesses in the West Midlands showed the most confidence, at 16 per cent, ahead of the South West at 15 per cent, and East Midlands at 13 per cent.

Those in Scotland were the least confident, with an overall confidence of minus-three per cent, nine points below the national average.

Hann-Ju Ho, senior economist of Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, concluded: “Both business confidence and optimism about the wider economy have picked up this month, with economic optimism reaching a three month high as concerns about the impact of the UK leaving the EU eased.

“However, there was a slight step down in hiring intentions, which could reflect concerns about ongoing economic uncertainty.”

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