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It’s Good News: British Business Confidence Is Bouncing Back

It’s about time we had some positive news. And here it is. British business confidence has jumped to a four year high, sparking optimism that the economy is recovering to pre-pandemic levels.

British business confidence has hit highs not seen since April 2017

A recent survey revealed that construction, manufacturing and service companies all posted greater optimism that recovery would continue.

The latest Lloyds Bank Business Barometer found that employers in the North West and East registered the most significant jump in confidence, with an overall uplift country-wide of six points. This brings the barometer to +36% in August.

The monthly poll of 1,200 firms also saw a boost in business confidence in Northern Ireland for August, following a negative response in July’s survey.

Why has the barometer risen so sharply? It is suggested the uplift has been driven by companies’ trading prospects and expectations of stronger growth in the year ahead.

“Business confidence reaching its highest level in over four years tells a positive story about the country’s economic recovery,” said Hann-Ju Ho, senior economist at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking.

“This confidence is driven by the continued success of the vaccine rollout, the removal of lockdown restrictions and adjustments to self-isolation rules.

We can be optimistic that the momentum for business confidence and economic optimism can be sustained

“Staff shortages remain a challenge, but as the economy moves back towards pre-pandemic levels, we can be optimistic that the momentum for business confidence and economic optimism can be sustained in the months ahead.”

Regional Analysis

This August, the Lloyds Bank Business Barometer showed that confidence increased in nine out of the 12 UK regions and nations. The North West and East of England registered the highest rises, with smaller uplifts seen in London and the North East.

  • North West: up 26 points to 64%

  • East: up 14 points to 39%

  • North East: up 6 points to 46%

  • London: up 4 points to 41%

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