North West business confidence rises during October

North West business confidence rose during October, according to Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking.

According to the bank’s latest business barometer, confidence in the region rose 11 points to -2 per cent, the highest of any UK region, with businesses reporting higher confidence in their own business prospects up 7 per cent month-on-month.

The barometer, which questions 1,200 businesses monthly and provides early signals about UK economic trends, found 25 per cent of businesses expected to reduce staff over the next year. 

Glenn Bemment, regional director for the North West at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “Month by month, North West firms have slowly been edging closer to regaining an overall positive outlook.

“And with many key sectors like operating close to full capacity despite increased local lockdowns, it’s likely these industries will be helping to buoy confidence in the region.

“Our region has proven its resilience throughout this crisis, and we’ll continue to stand by the side of local firms, providing the guidance and support needed to help them navigate the challenges ahead.”

Across the UK, confidence dropped seven points month-on-month to -18%.

Confidence about businesses’ own trading prospects dipped by only one point,  however their optimism in the economy fell by 14 points.

UK business confidence has remained negative since April, but the picture had been improving, with confidence steadily rising since May, the barometer found.

Hann-Ju Ho, senior economist at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking said: “The resurgence in coronavirus cases and the reintroduction of local lockdown measures saw overall business confidence fall back sharply this month.

“Added to that are ongoing uncertainties regarding new trading arrangements with the EU in January. All of this makes the economic outlook uncertain and the period ahead will be pivotal for businesses as they navigate the winter months and continue to adapt to the evolving landscape.”

Business Live – North West