Business confidence rocketing as reopening of economy beckons

Tuesday 30th March 2021

According to Lloyds Business Barometer the government’s roadmap to reopening the economy has seen business confidence soar to the highest level since before ‘lockdown’. For more detail on this subject please read the article below which appeared in The Daily Telegraph today.

Roger Mundy, Managing Director, Beardsley Theobalds, 30th March 2021

 

 

Firms plan hiring spree as confidence soars

The roadmap to reopening the economy has sent business confidence rocketing to a one-year high with bosses planning to ramp up hiring.

Manufacturers and retailers led the confidence boom in March in one of the largest jumps on record, according to Lloyds’ Business Barometer.

The overall confidence gauge leapt 13 percentage points to a balance of 15pc, the highest level since March 2020 shortly before the first lockdown. Its indicator measures the difference between confident and pessimistic firms. “The broadly positive outlook is driven by steady vaccine deployment, the roadmap out of lockdown and the extension of government support measures,” said Hann-Ju Ho, economist at Lloyds Commercial Banking.

Hiring intentions returned to positive territory for the first time in a year while optimism over the economic outlook also picked up strongly. Confidence is closing in on the long-term average of 28pc but the sharp rise in March was beaten by December’s 17-point jump after the vaccine breakthroughs.

Economists have predicted the economy will enjoy a bumper rebound from the second quarter amid hopes that households will spend their huge lockdown savings.

New Bank of England data indicated that households paid off another £1.2bn of credit card debt and built up a further £17.1bn in savings in February as Covid restrictions slash spending.

Over the past 12 months deposits climbed by more than £180bn. This is more than three times the usual rate of savings.Andy Haldane, the Bank of England’s chief economist, has described the economy as “a coiled spring”.