Business confidence on the up

(2 minutes to read)

Overall business confidence remained at 23%, having increased for five consecutive months to January’s 14-month high.

According to the Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking Business Barometer, business confidence remained high in February, maintaining its surge since January.

February continued to see a rise in trading prospects, increasing for the third month in a row to 24% from 22%, a ten-month high. Similar to last month, 37% of firms anticipate an improvement in their trading prospects, while 13%, down from 15% expect a decrease.

Concerns about the UK leaving the EU eased significantly in February and returned to positive sentiment for the first time since September 2018, to 7% from -7% last month.

Businesses’ views on the impact of leaving the EU were more optimistic, with 34% of businesses believing the UK’s exit will have a positive impact (up from 27%), while 25% (down from 34%) continue to expect a negative impact.

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Hann-Ju Ho, Senior Economist, Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, commented, “The buoyed sustained results signal a return to economic growth for the first quarter of 2020 after a relatively flat final quarter end to 2019. The third consecutive rise in trading prospects and a swing to positive sentiment on the expected impact of leaving the EU are all tentative signs of improvement after the soft end to last year.”

Looking at a regional analysis, London was the most confident region (29%), followed by the West (28%) and East (27%) Midlands.

The East of England (26%), the South East (24%) and the South West (24%), remained close to the UK average of 23%. The least confident regions were the Northern Ireland (-8%) and Wales (-2%), both moving into negative sentiment.

Paul Gordon, Managing Director for SME and Mid Corporates, Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, added, “It is encouraging to see that the regions are starting to align to the long-term national average. London has continued its strong start to the year and with Scottish confidence bouncing back, it could signal businesses’ positive reaction to greater political certainty.”

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Why Dolan Accountancy?

Dolan Accountancy was set up by Simon J Dolan, the man behind the well-known brand SJD Accountancy. With over 25 years experience in the contracting marketing, Dolan Accountancy has the heritage, reputation and credibility you can trust. Working closely with our sister company, Contractor Umbrella, it means we can offer one low cost, fixed fee package at £95 + VAT per month. This gives you the flexibility of using both our Limited Company Accountancy Services and our award winning Umbrella Service, for one inclusive cost. We don’t believe in tiered packages or hidden extra fees, instead we aim to give you everything you need, including:

  • Free Company Formation – This is where it all begins. Once you have decided on an available name, we will form your company free of charge (if using our accountancy services) and it will be ready for you to use in as little as three hours.
  • Free use of Contractor Umbrella – With changes in Public Sector IR35 Legislation we understand that sometimes you are required to contract via an umbrella company. We will keep your limited company ticking over, while you work margin free via our sister company, Contractor Umbrella.
  • A Dedicated Accountant – Your accountant will be there for any company or personal tax advice that you require. We will never outsource work, even to internal teams.
  • Free Access to FreeAgent – The founder behind the multi award winning FreeAgent platform was one of Simon’s first clients, therefore it only seems fitting that we offer all of our clients access to FreeAgent, free of charge.
  • Free Business Banking – We have decided to waive our commission so our clients can use Tide free of charge for the first year.
  • Unlimited IR35 Status Reviews – We will review all of your contracts for IR35 purposes and provide you with our professional opinion as to its status.
  • Free Registered and Director’s Service Office Address – Sometimes you just don’t want your home address on display at Companies House. When you sign up to our accountancy services, we will offer the use of our address as an alternative.
  • Your Business and Personal Taxation Needs – This includes Company Accounts, Director’s Personal Tax Return, VAT Returns, Payroll, Corporation Tax and Dividend advice, to name just a few.
  • Same day payments- We offer same day payments as standard providing funds are received into our account by 9am, for no additional fee.

If you’d like to find out more about how Dolan Accountancy can help you and your business, please give us a call on 01442 795100 or email or