Business optimism at its highest level in almost six years!

Monday 15th March 2021

Confidence levels in businesses across the UK services and manufacturing sectors have now led to the highest expectations in the world according to an Accenture/IHS Markit Business Outlook report. To a major extent the relatively rapid rollout of anti Covid-19 vaccinations is behind this boost in business optimism and significant economic growth now appears to be on the horizon. For more details on the report’s findings please read the news bulletin below which appeared in The Daily Telegraph today.

Roger Mundy, Managing Director, Beardsley Theobalds, 15th March 2021



Business confidence soars to highest level since 2015

Business optimism is at its highest level in almost six years as the vaccination rollout provides a clear route out of lockdown, a new survey finds.

The services sector has the highest expectations for growth in the world with hotels and restaurants beaming at the prospect of welcoming back guests, according to the Accenture/HIS Markit business outlook report.

More than two thirds of the 12,000 manufacturing and service companies surveyed expect an increase in business activity this year with only 11pc predicting a decline. Accenture said confidence was at its highest since June 2015.

Businesses in the service industry said the rapid rollout of vaccines was behind the boost in optimism.

More than 24m people have received at least one does of Covid vaccine. Hospitality venues will be allowed to serve customers outdoors from April 12 as part of the Government’s road map out of lockdown, while indoor hospitality is expected to reopen from May 17.

Companies are also bullish about hiring more staff with 40pc of firms looking to bring in more employees over the next year. Rachel Barton, strategy and consulting lead at Accenture, said it was “encouraging” to see businesses confident about bouncing back.

“Although we are not out of the woods yet, it is important for UK businesses to take advantage of this confidence in order to build a sustainable recovery,” she said.

“Change is a constant factor at the moment, but a positive mindset can be a self-fulfilling prophecy so hopefully companies will follow through on the investment and growth plans we see.”

Manufacturing also reported a sizeable bump in confidence in February. About 62pc of businesses in the sector expect a rise in production this year, up from 50pc in January.

Projections were driven by hopes of a continued recovery in global manufacturing conditions, as well as a rise in demand from clients in the US and Asia.

A separate survey by MakeUK and BDO also pointed to strong growth plans among Britain’s manufacturers.

Growth in the sector has been upgraded to 3.9pc in 2021, up from a previous estimate of 2.7pc.