Business confidence improves says new Lloyds survey
Monday 02 April 2012
Business confidence rose for the third month in a row in March, according to a survey by a division of Lloyds Banking Group, as the threat posed by the eurozone debt crisis appears to recede.
The Lloyds Bank Wholesale Banking & Markets Business Barometer rose 30 points to a nine-month high last month as 51% of companies said they were now more optimistic regarding economic prospects - the first time since June last year that more than half the respondents were positive about the UK outlook.
Businesses' improved sentiment on the UK's economic outlook was "no doubt" influenced by the less immediate threat of a Greek default causing wide disruption across Eurozone economies, Lloyds said.
Trevor Williams, chief economist at Lloyds Bank Wholesale Banking & Markets, said: "This month's acceleration in confidence about UK economic prospects supports our view that concern about the Eurozone debt crisis was a major contributor to the sharp decline in sentiment during the latter months of 2011.
"Indeed, the rebound in confidence mirrors the fallback in market concerns over the potential fallout from a Greek default since December last year. This month's results also provide strong support to our contention that GDP will expand in the first half of 2012."
However, there was a marginal fall in businesses' confidence in their own prospects, with the net balance dropping one point to 40%.
The findings suggest that it is possible that overall economic output might have expanded in the first quarter of the year, avoiding recession.
The survey's supplementary questions on employment prospects and profit margins provide findings that are largely in line with the general positive sentiment felt by businesses.
The net balance for employment prospects has risen to 28% from 18% a month ago, the third consecutive monthly increase, Lloyds said, while profit margins also improved.
Average domestic prices fell for the second month in a row to 12% from 15%, which suggests that the improvement in profitability reflected lower costs rather than higher prices which may help to contain inflation.
- 1 Planes go hybrid-electric in important step to greener flight
- 2 North Korean prison officers 'cooked prisoner's baby and fed it to their dogs', more horrific accounts from UN report reveal
- 3 Antonio Martin shooting: Mayor says there should be 'no comparison' to Ferguson
- 4 Antonio Martin shooting: Police and protesters clash over teenager's death just five miles from Ferguson, Missouri
- 5 British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
iJobs Money & Business
Highly Competitive: Selby Jennings: Our client, a leading European Oil trading...
£43500 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: Night Shift Operatio...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000 + Car + Pension: SThree: SThree are a ...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35K: SThree: We consistently strive to be the...