04 Nov Essex firms still looking to hire despite falling confidence
Business confidence in the East of England fell two points during October to 2%, according to the latest Business Barometer from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking.
Companies in the region report lower confidence in their business prospects, which fell 10 points to 7%. When taken alongside their views of the economy overall, this gives an overall confidence of 2%.
Despite this, businesses’ hiring intentions showed that a net balance of 8% of businesses in the region expect to hire more staff during the next year, up eight points on last month.
Across the UK, overall confidence rose four points to 6% as firms’ confidence in their own prospects climbed two points to 15%.
The Business Barometer questions 1,200 businesses monthly and provides early signals about UK economic trends both regionally and nationwide. This month’s survey was conducted before the government announced its new deal on the UK’s departure from the EU.
David Atkinson, regional director for the East of England at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “While business confidence in the region has fallen slightly, it’s reassuring to see that a balance of 8% of businesses still intend to hire in the next year, which will provide a real boost for the local economy.
“We’re proud to stand by the side of small and medium sized businesses, through and beyond the current economic uncertainty, which is why we’ve pledged to lend £1.7billion to businesses in the East of England in 2019.”
Across the region, a net balance of 13% 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 11 points on a month ago.