Survey reveals renewed optimism among businesses
A survey by the Institute of Chartered Accountants has revealed confidence among businesses has rose to -28.2 at the end of March, from -45.3 at the end of the previous quarter.
The rise represents the first since the third quarter of 2007, but is still far away from the 4.8 mark measured at the time.
According to the Institute’s head, Michael Izza, “The underlying data suggests that companies have heeded warnings.”
However, Mr Izza cautions “While the change in outlook is encouraging, I still believe that difficult times lie ahead.”
The survey questioned 1,000 chartered accountants across England and Wales.
Last week, the Office of National Statistics (ONS) revealed that spending by British households fell by 1.2% in the first three months of 2009 – the largest fall since 1980.
According to the ONS, the only positive contribution to growth was Government spending.
In related news, the Ifo index has revealed a rise in business confidence in Germany.
For the second consecutive month, the Ifo index rose to 84.2 in May, up from the previous reading of 83.7 in April.
According to the organisation’s head, the survey suggests “a gradual stabilisation of economic output at a low level.”