British business confidence is at its highest level since April 2017, according to the latest Lloyds Bank Business Barometer.
Confidence is being fuelled by hope that the economy will recover strongly to pre-pandemic levels. Firms in the manufacturing, services and construction sectors were the most optimistic that recovery would continue.
However, there was caution amongst many companies about inflation and staff shortages.
The barometer found that overall business confidence among UK firms rose by six points to +36% in August, driven by improvements in companies' trading prospects and expectations of stronger growth in the year ahead.
Said Hann-Ju Ho, Senior Economist at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, commented: 'Business confidence reaching its highest level in over four years tells a positive story about the country's economic recovery.
'This confidence is driven by the continued success of the vaccine rollout, the removal of lockdown restrictions and adjustments to self-isolation rules.
'Staff shortages remain a challenge, but as the economy moves back towards pre-pandemic levels we can be optimistic that the momentum for business confidence and economic optimism can be sustained in the months ahead.'