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Business confidence picks up but firms remain cautious

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Business confidence in the East of England picked up in April although firms remain cautious about hiring new staff, according to a business barometer from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking. Overall confidence stood at two per cent in April, four points higher than in March. Although firms in the East reported slightly lower confidence in their own business prospects (12 per cent vs. 13 per cent in March), they took a more optimistic view on the economy.

A net balance of five per cent of businesses in the region expect to hire more staff in the next year, down one point from last month. Meanwhile, a balance of 20 per cent feel Brexit is having a negative impact on expectations, down four points on a month ago.

David Atkinson, regional director for the East of England at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “While it’s encouraging to see overall business confidence rising, firms are still facing a number of uncertainties. Many are understandably cautious as a result, with the number of firms planning to create new jobs this year taking another slight dip this month.” Nationally, overall confidence climbed four points to 14 per cent.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 12 June 2019 12:06 )