Business confidence rises to 6-year high
Hopes that the recession has finally come to an end emerged today after the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) said confidence among British businesses has jumped to a six-year high.
According to The Times newspaper, the Business Confidence Monitor survey grew to a reading of 24.6 for the fourth quarter, up from 4.8 in the previous quarter – a level not seen since 2003 when the organisation began gathering data.
The rise in confidence will fuel hopes that the UK economy will emerge from recession in the October to December period.
However, recent data shows that Gross Domestic Product declined by 0.4%, contradicting analysts’ expectations that economic output had expanded by 0.1% to 0.2%.
Meanwhile, commenting on today’s figures, Michael Izza, chief executive of the ICAEW, said: “The recovery is very fragile and will take time. Tightening of fiscal policy, the return to the 17.5% VAT rate, continued difficulties accessing finance and a budget Christmas by consumers are all potential threats to this recovery.”
Furthermore, Mr Izza said that limited access to credit continues to be an issue for many businesses. “Businesses are backing the recovery but banks are not,” he said.