Friday 13th December 2019
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Confidence improves amongst firms with ‘positive mindset’

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Companies in the East of England appear to have been largely unfazed by the recent political upheaval with confidence in their own business prospects rising to 17 per cent in September, up from 10 per cent in August, according to a business barometer from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking. Overall confidence remained stable at 4 per cent in September. However a net balance of 24 per cent of businesses in the region said Brexit was having a negative impact on their expectations for business activity, up 14 points on a month ago. David Atkinson, regional director for the East of England at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “It’s encouraging that businesses in East Anglia are just as confident this month as they were in August, despite the current economic uncertainty. It’s easy for businesses to retreat during more testing times, but firms seem determined that they can achieve their full potential and management teams are looking towards the last quarter of the year with a positive mindset.” Nationally, overall confidence rose one point to 2 per cent as firms’ confidence in their own prospects climbed five points to 13 per cent.

Meanwhile, Suffolk Chamber’s third quarter economic survey points to an overall decline in business activity and sentiment, particularly at service companies. Nineteen of the 30 main indices saw a decline whilst 11 improved. Falls were seen in key long term criteria such as training investment, confidence in improving profitability and turnover and employment expectations. But most of the criteria are still in positive territory. Suffolk businesses are also more robust than the East of England average, where 26 of the 30 criteria saw declines.