Latest data has shown that business confidence bounced back from August’s nine-month low.
The latest Business Barometer from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking revealed that optimism regarding the wider economy increased by nine points to 26% in September, while the net balance of firms expecting stronger trading prospects in the coming year rose three points to 32%.
It was also found that construction (41%) and consumer services (33%) were the most confident sectors.
Hann-Ju Ho, Senior Economist, Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said, “August’s dip in economic confidence, and consequently in overall business confidence, appears to have been just that – a dip – and has been reversed in September.
“A brighter outlook, while potentially linked to what many firms saw as increasing signs of progress in Brexit negotiations earlier in the month, illustrates a more positive view on the balance of risks facing businesses as we enter the fourth quarter of the year.”
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Paul Gordon, Managing Director for SME and Mid Corporates, added, “Businesses are facing on-going uncertainty on a number of fronts, which can make planning and decision making more difficult. This could explain the drop in confidence in August.
“However, there are some positives emerging, in September businesses in Northern Ireland and the South East saw the biggest increases in confidence, rising 26 points to 30 per cent and 23 points to 31 per cent respectively. Over the longer term, businesses in London and those in the construction sector remain the most confident, and are the most likely to create new jobs in the coming year.”
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