North West business confidence rises in January

A new business survey shows business confidence among North West firms was up in January despite the tough economic conditions. Tony McDonough reports

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There has been a rise in business confidence in the North West in January


Business confidence in the North West rose eight points during January to 48%, according to the latest Business Barometer from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking.

Companies in the North West reported higher confidence in their own business prospects month-on-month, up two points at 52%. When taken alongside their optimism in the economy, up 13 points to 42%, this gives a headline confidence reading of 48%.

Businesses in the region identified their top target areas for growth in the next six months as diversifying into adjacent markets (48%), investing in training and development (34%) and evolving their product and service offer (33%). 

A net balance of 34% of businesses in the region expect to increase staff levels over the next year, up one point on last month.

Overall UK business confidence climbed in January, with firms reporting their highest confidence levels since July last year.

READ MORE: Fall in number of Merseyside firms ‘in distress’

Business confidence increased by five points to 22% and the net balance of businesses feeling optimistic about the economy doubled on December’s reading to 16%.

Martyn Kendrick, regional director for the North West at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “It’s fantastic that businesses in the North West are continuing to grow in their overall confidence, and that so many are planning to invest in the year ahead.

“Plans to upskill staff with training and development will be key for many in building the skills they need to thrive and meet their growth ambitions.”

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