Confidence falls in June among North West firms

Latest Business Barometer from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking shows confidence among the region’s firms fell six points during June to -31%

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Firms across the North West reported falling confidence in June

 

Business confidence across Merseyside and the North West continued to fall in June, despite an easing of coronavirus lockdown restrictions, new data shows.

The latest Business Barometer from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking shows confidence among the region’s firms fell six points during June to -31%. The Business Barometer questions 1,200 businesses monthly.

When asked about the impact of coronavirus on their business, a third (35%) said they expect to be operating at more than 50% of capacity by the end of June, although 10% didn’t expect to be operating at all.

A quarter f firms said it would take 12 months until they were back to operating at pre-COVID-19 levels, with 20% expecting it to take up to three months.

The majority of firms continued to see demand fall during June, but the picture did improve month-on-month. Three quarters of firms experienced a drop in demand for their products and services, down four points on May, and 11% experienced an increase in demand, up five points on the month before.

Of the 78% of businesses reporting disruption to their supply chain during June, 32% expected the situation to improve within three months, while only 2% expected it would take more than 12 months to return to normal levels.

Glenn Bemment, regional director for the North West, at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “Firms across our region have been hit hard by this crisis and it’s clear that ongoing disruption and uncertainty is still weighing heavily on their outlook.

“However, it’s encouraging that some businesses are beginning to see an uptick in demand for their products and services. Optimism should be buoyed somewhat in the coming weeks as non-essential retailers restart and the hospitality sector opens back up, alongside further easing of social distancing measures.”

Across the UK, business confidence grew marginally month-on-month, rising three points to  -30%. The West Midlands was the least pessimistic region at -18%, followed jointly by Yorkshire & the Humber and the North East at -23%. Scotland was the most pessimistic, with confidence dropping eight points month-on-month to -41%.

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