Business confidence in the capital rose by seven points during July to 47 per cent – the second highest in the UK, according to the latest Business Barometer from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking.
Firms confidence in their own business prospects rose five points to 54 per cent, while optimism about the wider economy rose to 39 per cent, up eight points on last month.
As a result, a net balance of 59 per cent of businesses in the capital expect to hire more staff during the next year, up 11 points on last month.
Nationally, overall confidence edged ahead to 30 per cent, up one point on June, as firms’ optimism about the economy rose two points to 25 per cent. Businesses’ confidence in their own business prospects held steady at 34 per cent.
The Business Barometer questions 1,200 businesses monthly and provides early signals about UK economic trends both regionally and nationwide.
Mark Burton, regional director for London and the South at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “This month’s uplift in business confidence marks a return to the consistently high level of optimism we’ve seen in the capital since the start of the year, despite a short dip in June.
“More importantly, we’re seeing this confidence reflected in hiring intentions as firms look to bolster their workforce in readiness for the growth in business activity they anticipate for the year ahead.”
Across the capital, a net balance of 21 per cent of businesses said they felt that the UK’s exit from the European Union will have a positive impact on their expectations for business activity – unchanged from a month ago.