British businesses are growing increasingly bullish that the country will avoid a triple-dip recession.
Fears that the economy could once again suffer contraction have fallen to an eight-month low, according to a survey of 300 £1m-plus turnover companies undertaken earlier this month. The Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking Business Barometer shows that companies in the North and South are far more bullish than those in the Midlands.
However, experts warned that hopes of a relatively buoyant 2013 could be undermined by international economic crises that remain unresolved. Trevor Williams, chief economist, Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: "The upward momentum in confidence in the past two months, if sustained, would point to a return to growth in the early stages of 2013, though external risks remain the euro area and the US fiscal cliff. Nevertheless, as we end the year, it is good to see businesses in a more upbeat mood about the economy and their own trading prospects."
Service sectors were particularly upbeat. But the industrial businesses still showed concern, likely to be caused by exports being hit by the continuing Eurozone malaise and US politicians failing to budge sufficiently to come to an economic compromise.
This might also be a reason why the biggest firms surveyed showed a decline in confidence. They are more likely to have international elements to their businesses, so will be more hurt by global economic problems.