London firms have a stellar start to the year, and optimism abounds across UK
We’ve got two bits of positive news for you to kick-start an otherwise rather gloomy Monday.
Firstly, the growth rate of London business activity hit an eight-month high in January.
The growth rates of new business, employment, activity and backlogs of work all increased in the first month of 2015 in Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking London Business Activity Index.
Employment in London businesses accelerated at its fastest pace for seven months.
Lloyds’ index showed that London businesses were showing stronger rates of growth than the UK average across output, new business, staffing levels and outstanding business (though the latter suggested that the surge in new business growth was “putting pressure on firms’ capacity”).
London services firms outperformed those in the manufacturing sector.
But the feel-good factor isn’t just being felt by London businesses.
Companies across the country are feeling positive about their futures.
UK businesses are showing persistently strong optimism and output, according to BDO’s Business Trends monitor.
Its optimism and output indices for UK businesses “remain resolutely positive”, the firm said, and are both “well above” the long-term trend rate.
The employment monitor is also “well above” the long-term trend rate, “signalling that firms expect businesses to keep hiring in the near-term”.
“This month’s Business Trends report shows that businesses can and will tune out of the parties’ electioneering to focus on what really matters – their business prospects,” said Peter Hemington, partner at BDO LLP. “By discounting the political noise and taking a realistic view of the economy’s strengths, businesses are remaining cautiously optimistic.
“Businesses are worried less about the detail of which candidate will get the keys to Number Ten and more about the country’s long-term economic prospects.
“And in the meantime they are focusing on their own businesses and keeping rightly positive.”