Confidence dips as realism kicks in
Business confidence has fallen for the first time in two years, raising further questions about the momentum of the recovery.
Ahead of a vote by the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee on interest rates this week, the latest confidence monitor from ICAEW/Grant Thornton gave a reading of 32.3, down from 37.3 in the second quarter of 2014.
“Businesses are becoming more realistic about the future,” said Stephen Ibbotson of the ICAEW. “The imbalances in our economic recovery that were masked by rising confidence continue to persist – our exports remain weak, and investment isn’t maintaining momentum. "
"We look to the Bank of England and the Government to work harder to ensure that the recovery is placed on a broader footing before we see this still relatively high optimism erode away.”
On Thursday, the MPC is set to take a decision on whether to raise interest rates from their historic lows of 0.5 per cent. Although no member has voted for an increase since July 2011, experts believe at least two of its members, Martin Weale and Ian McCafferty, will vote for a rise.
The ICAEW/Grant Thornton confidence index, which has been running since 2005, has been steadily rising since the second quarter of 2013. In the depths of the global financial crisis in 2009 it hit lows of minus 45.
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
iJobs Money & Business
$200 - $350 per annum: Carlton Senior Appointments: Managing Producer Office...
$125 - $225 per annum: Carlton Senior Appointments: San Fran - Investment Advi...
Up to £70,000 per annum + benefits: Sheridan Maine: Are you a qualified accoun...
Up to £65,000 per annum + benefits: Sheridan Maine: Are you a qualified accoun...