Capital’s businesses plan to increase investment as confidence rises
Business confidence in London has risen to its highest level since the EU Referendum and firms are planning to increase investment in the next six months, according to the latest Business in Britain report from Lloyds Bank.
Business confidence in London – calculated as an average of respondents’ expected sales, orders and profits over the next six months – climbed to 25 per cent, up from 20 per cent in July 2017 and from just four per cent immediately after the 2016 EU Referendum.
As a result, the net balance of firms looking to grow investment in the next six months rose by six points to 16 per cent.
The capital still faces some challenges, with the share of firms that continue to report difficulties hiring skilled labour rising by two points to reach 55 per cent – the highest of any UK region and above the national average of 46 per cent.
The net balance of firms expecting to increase wages rose by just one point to 20 per cent, suggesting that companies are still taking a cautious approach to pay despite a skills shortage.
The Business in Britain report, now in its 26th year, gathers the views of more than 1,500 UK companies, predominantly small to medium sized businesses, and tracks a range of performance and confidence measures, weighing up the percentage of firms that are positive in outlook against those that are negative.