Swindon & Wiltshire Business News

South West business confidence rebounds in October

David BeaumontBusiness confidence in the South West rose 16 points during October to 15 percent, according to the latest Business Barometer from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking.

Companies in the South West report higher confidence in their business prospects, which rose 10 points to 20 percent, and higher economic optimism, which leapt 21 points to 10 percent. Together, this gives an overall confidence of 15 percent.

Businesses’ growing confidence was reflected in their hiring intentions, with a net balance of 16 percent of businesses in the region expecting to hire more staff during the next year, up 17 points on last month.

Across the UK, overall confidence rose four points to six percent as firms’ confidence in their own prospects climbed two points to 15 percent.

The Business Barometer questions 1,200 businesses monthly and provides early signals about UK economic trends both regionally and nationwide. This month’s survey was conducted before the government announced its new deal on the UK’s departure from the EU.

David Beaumont, regional director for the South West at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “After a sharp decline in September, overall confidence for firms in the South West has seen a significant rebound.

“The South West is a strong and resilient UK region and firms are readying impressive hiring plans. We are here by the side of businesses as they continue to strive for success, bolstering both the local and national economy.”

Across the region, a net balance of 28 percent of businesses said they felt that the UK’s exit from the European Union was having a negative impact on their expectations for business activity, up nine points on a month ago.