South West Business Confidence Rising
According to new data from Lloyds Bank, companies in the region have reported this month an increase in confidence and their own business prospects to its highest level so far this year. Although still at a relatively low level, the direction of travel is certainly cause for a degree of optimism, especially in the light of so many negatives currently impacting the economy generally. For the full picture please read the bulletin below issued by Insider News Media today.
Roger Mundy, Managing Director, Beardsley Theobalds, 31st October 2023
South West confidence on the rise - Lloyds Bank
Business confidence in the South West rose during October, according to new data, to its highest level so far this year.
Companies in the region reported higher confidence in their own business prospects month-on-month, up 25 points at 51 per cent.
When taken alongside their optimism in the economy, up 27 points to 43 per cent, this gave a headline confidence reading of 47 per cent – representing a 26-point rise.
South West businesses identified their top target areas for growth in the next six months as investing in their teams (49 per cent), evolving their products and services (33 per cent) and introducing new technology (28 per cent).
A net balance of 29 per cent of businesses in the region expect to increase staff levels over the next year, up 19 points on last month.
Amanda Dorel, regional director for the South West at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: "It's brilliant to see the region’s confidence reaching a record level for 2023, with so many firms expecting trading to increase in the coming months.
"As businesses enter the final quarter of the year, it's important they engage with their customer base early to capitalise on any eager shoppers looking to take advantage of tapering inflation.
"Those who keep a close eye on margins and mange working capital effectively will enter the Christmas trading period ahead of the pack."