Business confidence is growing

The latest Lloyds Bank Business Barometer shows confidence among UK companies is currently running at a five-month high.

Data from February’s survey reported overall business confidence at +44%, a five-point increase from the previous month and the highest figure since last September. The surge in confidence has been driven by improvements in both firms’ trading prospects and their economic optimism.

Paul Gordon, the bank’s Managing Director for SME and Mid Corporates, said, “Ten out of the 12 regions reported a growth in confidence, indicating that businesses are looking forward with renewed optimism. The UK’s construction and manufacturing sectors have seen the biggest benefit as COVID-19 restrictions and supply challenges ease, while the retail sector has also seen a boost in confidence. What is clear is that business confidence is on an upward trajectory.”

Another survey released last month suggests UK SMEs are set to bolster employee numbers following a promising start to 2022. According to data from the latest quarterly Barclaycard Payments SME Barometer, two out of five businesses plan to hire, on average, six new employees before the end of March, while almost six in ten are predicting an increase in revenue this quarter compared to the same period last year.