Welsh businesses to create jobs despite slight fall in confidence

Business confidence in Wales fell two points during December to 8%, according to the latest Business Barometer from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking.

Companies in Wales report lower confidence in their business prospects at 5% and higher economic optimism at 9%, giving an overall confidence reading of 8%.

Businesses’ hiring intentions showed that a net balance of 9% of businesses in the region expect to hire more staff during the next year, up one point on last month.

Across the UK, overall confidence edged up one point to 10% as firms’ confidence in their own prospects rose six points to 18%, although their optimism in the economy fell to 2%.

The Business Barometer questions 1,200 businesses monthly and provides early signals about UK economic trends both regionally and nationwide. This month’s survey was carried out before the result of last week’s General Election was known.

Amanda Dorel, regional director for Wales at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “Although it’s disappointing to see overall confidence fall slightly in December, the country’s businesses enter 2020 planning for growth and intending to hire more staff.

“As they do, we will remain firmly by their side and are committed to continue backing Welsh businesses, supporting their growth ambitions and helping Britain thrive.”

Across the region, a net balance of 6% of businesses said they felt that the UK’s exit from the European Union was having a negative mpact on their expectations for business activity, down four points on a month ago.