South West business confidence boosted

aerial shot of Clifton suspension bridge in Bristol on a foggy morning

Business confidence in the South West increased by eight points during June to 8%, according to the latest Business Barometer from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking.

Companies in the South West report higher confidence in their business prospects, which rose four points to 15%, and higher economic optimism, which rose 12 points to 1%. Together, this gives an overall confidence of eight per cent.

Businesses’ hiring intentions show a net balance of 6% of businesses in the region expect to hire more staff during the next year, down two points on last month.

Across the UK, overall confidence grew three points to 13% as firms’ confidence in their own prospects grew five points to 22%, while their economic optimism also grew by three points to 5%.

The Business Barometer questions 1,200 businesses monthly and provides early signals about UK economic trends both regionally and nationwide.

Adam Rainey, regional director for the South West at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “It is encouraging to see firms’ confidence rise this month after a downward blip in May, as the resilience of the region’s business community has prevailed again.

“We are here to stand by the side of businesses as they navigate their way through any current uncertainties towards reaching their long-term growth potential. This is why we have pledged to lend £1.5bn to South West companies this year.”

Across the region, a net balance of 24% of businesses said they feel that the UK’s exit from the European Union is having a negative impact on their expectations for business activity, up two points on a month ago.