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East of England business confidence declines

02 Aug East of England business confidence declines

Business confidence in the East of England fell four points during July to nine per cent, according to the latest Business Barometer from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking.
Companies in the region reported lower confidence in their business prospects, which fell 11 points to 18 per cent, but higher economic optimism, which rose four points to zero per cent. Together, this gives an overall confidence of nine per cent.

Businesses’ hiring intentions showed a net balance of 12 per cent of businesses in the region expected to hire more staff during the next year, down 11 points on last month.
Across the UK, overall confidence stood steady at 13 per cent as firms’ confidence in their own prospects slipped three points to 19 per cent, while their economic optimism remained at five per cent.

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

David Atkinson, regional director for the East of England at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “It can be difficult to plan ahead amid ongoing uncertainty, but many businesses remain confident about their prospects and are prepared to back that by creating new jobs.

“Whatever the coming months bring, we will remain by the side of businesses in the East of England, ready to give them the support they need to grow.”

Across the region, a net balance of 26 per cent of businesses said they felt that the UK’s exit from the European Union was having a negative impact on their expectations for business activity, up nine points on a month ago.

The UK’s regions

Businesses in the South West were the most confident, at 29 per cent, ahead of the East Midlands (26 per cent) and West Midlands (19 per cent).
Those in Scotland were the least confident, with an overall confidence of zero per cent, 13 points below the national average.