Saturday 23rd March 2019
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Businesses growing more resilient amid uncertainty

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East of England firms grew less optimistic on the economic outlook in July although a rise in the balance of firms planning to hire more staff suggests businesses are becoming more resilient amid widespread uncertainty, according to a business barometer from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking.

Whilst firms' confidence in their own business prospects dipped to 9 per cent, compared with 33 per cent in June, the survey also shows the net balance of firms which expect to hire more staff during the next year rose four points to 15 per cent.  Across the region, a net balance of six per cent of firms said Brexit was having a negative effect effect on business expectations.

Andrew Connors, regional director for the East of England at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “….the fact that their investment plans – seen here in their hiring intentions – are more robust suggests firms are beginning to adapt to operating amid such uncertainty, refusing to get ahead of themselves when confidence rises but equally not panicking when their optimism slides.” Nationally, the survey of 1200 firms showed overall confidence edged ahead as businesses’ confidence in their own prospects held steady at 34 per cent.