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April 12, 2010    

Survey reveals rise in UK business confidence

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by Kay Murchie

A survey among UK companies has found that confidence has surged to a level not since the summer of 2006.

BDO’s Business Trends index, which covered 11,000 companies from a range of industries, rose to 103.2 in March from 99.4 - the highest in almost four years.

In addition, the output index grew to 102 in March from 99 - this reading of short-term expectations of future revenue has recovered to levels not seen since the third quarter of 2007 - prior to the onset of the recession.

However, the accountancy firm warns that confidence could be short-lived without investment - which is needed to sustain the recovery.

Commenting on the findings of its survey, Alex White, a partner at BDO, said: “The economy is showing signs of improvement, but the main political parties risk frittering this opportunity away if they don’t provide clarity for businesses now.

“Political parties are keeping businesses in the dark on the substantive impact of their policies… uncertainty created here is an enemy to investment,” he added.

Recent figures revealed business investment in the UK declined by 4.3% in the fourth quarter of 2009 compared with the previous quarter, but this was a 23.5% fall compared with the same period in 2008.

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