Lloyds Bank

UK small businesses are confident of a stronger start to 2013

03 January 2013

Lloyds TSB Commercial Business in Britain survey shows a jump in confidence as concerns over the Euro area subside

  • Confidence continues to rise , driven in particular by stronger profit expectations and by improvements in anticipated sales and orders, despite slow overall UK growth
  • Exports to Europe are expected to bounce back in the next six months, reflecting policy measures taken to support the euro area economy
  • Confidence amongst all sectors rose reflecting a general improvement in expected sales, orders and profits in the next six months.
  • Notwithstanding the rise in confidence, there were only moderate increases in employment and investment plans for the next six months

UK firms are growing in confidence, buoyed by a more positive outlook for Europe and are hopeful of a boost to business activity during the first half of 2013 according to the latest Business in Britain report from Lloyds TSB Commercial.
The twice yearly report, now in its 21st year, canvasses the views of 1800 UK businesses and shows that optimism is at its strongest level since the economy came out of the initial recession in 2009, driven in particular by stronger profit expectations but also by a better outlook for sales and orders.

Businesses continue to increase in confidence with a lift to profit and sales expectations

The survey’s key Business Confidence Index tracks businesses’ views of likely sales, orders and profits for the coming six months and presents the overall “balance” of opinion weighing up the percentage of firms that are positive in outlook against those that are negative.
The index has increased to 19 per cent, from 12 per cent in the previous survey, due largely to a rise in expected sales and orders over the next six months. However, while confidence continues to rise, employment and investment intentions for the next six months have only moderately increased, suggesting that companies remain cautious about future hiring prospects and capital projects.

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