Business confidence 'reaches two-year high', research suggests

Research carried out by Lloyds Bank has revealed that confidence amongst UK firms has ‘reached a two-year high’.

The Bank’s confidence index rose from 23% in January 2018 to 25% in the second quarter of this year, and is now ‘above the long-term average’. UK businesses are now ‘more confident than at any point since the EU referendum vote’, according to Lloyds Bank.

It did, however, warn that Brexit uncertainty poses ‘the greatest threat to business confidence’ in the short-term, alongside ‘weaker UK demand’. 36% of firms ‘expect a negative impact on their business’ if the government fails to reach a trade agreement with the EU.

The research also suggested that many firms are choosing not to put additional recruitment and investment plans into place.

‘Despite concerns on the wider economy, businesses are still relatively upbeat, as our latest report shows business confidence hitting a two-year high since the Brexit vote,’ said Sharon Geoghegan, Managing Director of SME Banking at Lloyds Banking Group.

‘As we look ahead, the external environment remains mixed, as Brexit uncertainty and weaker UK demand are businesses’ biggest concerns for the next six months.’

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