Latest business Barometer from Lloyds show that while firms’ confidence in their business prospects remained unchanged at 42%, economic optimism fell by 22 points to 33%. Tony McDonough reports
Business confidence in Merseyside and the North West plummeted by 11 points in May to 38%, according to new data.
The latest business Barometer from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking reveals that while firms’ confidence in their business prospects remained unchanged at 42% companies’ economic optimism fell by 22 points to 33%.
Together, this gives an overall confidence figure of 38%, which is 11 points lower than April’s figure of 49%. As a result, a net balance of 34% of businesses in the North West expect to hire more staff in the next year, down 10 points on last month.
Nationally, overall confidence climbed three points to 35 per cent, as firms’ confidence in their own business outlook rose even though their optimism about the economy slipped.
The Business Barometer questions 1,200 businesses monthly and provides early signals about UK economic trends both regionally and nationwide.
Glenn Bemment, regional director for the North West at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “Although it’s slightly concerning to see that economic optimism has fallen from last month’s high, North West business confidence was still above the national average.
“Speaking to firms across the region, many remain resilient and are revisiting their business plans and assessing their working capital to ensure they are well placed to respond to potential future challenges.”
Across the region, a net balance of 10 per cent of businesses said they felt that the UK’s exit from the European Union was having a positive impact on their expectations for business activity, down two points on a month ago.