Business confidence in the East Midlands surged by 15 points in March, according to new figures.
Confidence grew to 18 per cent, making it the second most confident region in the UK, according to the latest Business Barometer report from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking.
Companies in the region surveyed between 1 and 15 March 2019 reported higher levels of confidence in their own trading prospects, with a net balance of 29 per cent of firms expecting business activity to increase over the next 12 months, compared with 21 per cent last month.
Businesses economic optimism jumped 20 points to stand at seven per cent. When taken together, these two figures give an overall confidence of 18 per cent.
A growing number of companies are also looking to recruit new staff, with a net balance of 28 per cent planning to recruit over the next 12 months, compared with 10 per cent a month ago.
Across the UK, overall confidence climbed six points to 10 per cent as both firms’ optimism about the economy and confidence in their own prospects bounced back from February’s lows.
The Lloyds Bank Business Barometer questions 1,200 businesses monthly and provides early signals about UK economic trends both regionally and nationwide.
Amanda Dorel, regional director for the East Midlands at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “This month’s Business Barometer shows that East Midlands businesses are among the most confident in the whole of the UK.
“This reflects what we’re seeing first hand in the region, where ambitious and driven firms are continuing to invest, innovate and expand.
“We’re by the side of businesses across the East Midlands, and as part of our commitment to helping them succeed, we’ve pledged to lend up to £2.5bn to East Midlands businesses during 2019.”
By Jon Robinson
Source: Insider Media