UK business confidence on the rise

(2 minutes to read)

Business confidence increased by five points to 24%, reversing part of October’s 10-point drop.

The overall rise in business confidence helped to reverse half of October’s 10-point drop and was led by stronger economic optimism, finds a new report.

The latest Business Barometer from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking also revealed that the net balance of firms reporting higher economic optimism increased by nine points to 17%, and businesses expecting stronger trading prospects also rose by two points to 31%, resulting in an overall increase in business confidence.

However, continued uncertainty about the outcome of Brexit negotiations and the details of a deal is still having a negative impact on business confidence.

For example, although almost a third (30%) of firms said that Brexit is expected to have a positive impact on their business (up from 27% last month), 36% of businesses said they think Brexit would have a negative impact, resulting in a net balance of ‑6%, compared with ‑7% in October and +9% in September.

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Interestingly, concerns about the impact of leaving the EU were the highest in manufacturing (-15%) and other services such as business/financial services and health/education (-16%).

Paul Gordon, Managing Director, SME and Mid Corporates, Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, commented, “The tide seems to have turned this month with overall business confidence up by five points from last month, painting a more positive picture.

“This is particularly true for businesses in Yorkshire and the Humber and Wales, seeing the biggest increase, with confidence rising by 26 points to 43% and 23 points to 30% respectively.

“Businesses in the manufacturing and the construction sector have responded the most positively to the increase in economic confidence, with the retail sector making marginal gains too.

“Whilst it remains to be seen whether this positivity will be sustained, it’s nevertheless promising to see a more optimistic picture for this month.”

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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.
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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