Economy set for strong growth in early 2014

Graham Randall

Graham Randall

Business confidence has increased for the tenth consecutive month, and suggests the economic recovery will gather pace in the first half of 2014.

This is according to the latest Business Trends report by Bristol-based accountants and business advisers BDO LLP.

BDO’s Optimism Index, which predicts business performance two quarters ahead, increased from 101.7 in October to a 43-month high of 103.1 in November, taking it comfortably above the 100.0 mark that indicates the economy’s long-run average growth rate.

Increased business confidence is taking hold across the economy, with optimism in the services and manufacturing sectors both above the crucial 100.0 mark for the first time since April 2010.

Business conditions also continued to improve in November, and provide further evidence that the economy’s recovery is broad-based.

In further welcome news, inflationary pressures also look to be receding. The BDO Inflation Index was down from 100.5 in October to 99.7 this month – below the all-important 100.0 mark that indicates inflation’s long-term trend.

Graham Randall, partner and head of BDO LLP in the South West, comments: “This is a strong and broad-based recovery.

“I think we can finally say that the key economic battleground has shifted from austerity to the new debate about how the government can help businesses achieve sustained growth in the context of a dynamic, internationally competitive economy.

“We clearly still have some substantial long-term problems though, in terms of an underperforming education system and a dysfunctional planning regime. “