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Sunday 19th of July 2009
July 17, 2009

Glimmers of confidence for British business


by David Masters
”Glimmers

Inklings of confidence are returning to British business, with many firms expecting an increase in sales by the end of the year.

The survey of 2,500 UK firms by Lloyds TSB Commercial found 31% of businesses expect an upturn in sales before the end of 2009.

Three in ten (30%), however, are braced for a sales decline.

Some 15% of companies predicted an increase in prices over the next six months, although a similar number are considering price cuts.

One in ten firms said they plan to recruit before the end of 2009.

The results nudged Lloyds TSB’s business confidence index up to minus 3%, a significant rise from the record low of minus 32% six months ago.

John Maltby, managing director of Lloyds TSB Commercial, said the results were “good news” for the British economy.

“A major factor in the dramatic fall into recession has been plummeting business confidence - and restored confidence is the key to any recovery,” Maltby said.

However, he added: “The survey indicates a levelling off in the downturn, rather than a return to strong growth.

“For the time being, profits will remain under pressure and investment will be on the backburner.

“And that means businesses will need support in order to ensure the momentum of any recovery.”

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