Business confidence reaches highest level this year

By Tim Aldred

30 Nov 2023

Lloyds Bank Business Barometer

Business confidence in the North West jumped 20 points last month, setting it at its highest level this year.

According to the latest Business Barometer from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, business confidence has risen to 54 per cent.

The study was conducted between 1st-15th November, before the chancellor’s Autumn Statement announcement on Wednesday 22nd November.

Companies reported higher confidence in their own business prospects month-on-month, up 17 points at 59 per cent. When taken alongside their optimism in the economy, up 22 points to 48 per cent, this gives a headline confidence reading of 54 per cent.  

North West businesses identified their top target areas for growth in the next six months as introducing new technology (38 per cent), entering new markets (34 per cent) and evolving their offer (34 per cent).

The Business Barometer, which surveys 1,200 businesses monthly, provides early signals about UK economic trends both regionally and nationwide. 

A net balance of 45 per cent of businesses in the region expect to increase staff levels over the next year, up eight points on last month. 

Overall UK business confidence rose three points in November from 39 per cent to 42 per cent, the third consecutive monthly increase, while firms’ outlook on the overall UK economy increased four points to 38 per cent.

Firms in the services industry reported an increase in confidence to 46% (up three points), the highest level for over two years (since September 2021), reflecting broad-based optimism in the sector.

Retail confidence also rose for a second month to 42% (up five points), while sentiment among manufacturing firms reached a five-month high of 45% (up nine points) in contrast with recent shortfalls.

Construction firms’ confidence improved for the first time in three months to 35% (up four points), but this still lags other sectors.

Hann-Ju Ho, senior economist at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “Business confidence rising to a 21-month high shows the resilience of UK companies, as both trading prospects and economic optimism continue to rise.

“It’s encouraging to see signs that wage expectations may be stabilising, even against the backdrop of hiring intentions increasing to an 18-month high. Price indicators in the survey are similarly up, with our data continuing to show that firms are still safeguarding their profit margins in response to past rises in interest rates, wage increase pressures, and the prospect of higher energy prices again this winter.

“Our next survey in December will reveal how firms are digesting the measures announced in the chancellor’s Autumn Statement last week as they navigate the busy festive season and make plans for 2024.”

Enjoyed this? Read more from Tim Aldred

Latest news

1

Sharp increase in number of Lancashire firms in financial distress Chris Lawton

Sharp increase in number of Lancashire firms in financial distress

22 Jul 2024

2

BAE Systems unveils concept model of new Tempest aircraft Tempest Concept

BAE Systems unveils concept model of new Tempest aircraft

22 Jul 2024

3

Is a phased retirement right for you? John Addis Amber River

Is a phased retirement right for you?

22 Jul 2024

4

Chorley Group expands operations in Blackpool Chorley Group Blackpool

Chorley Group expands operations in Blackpool

22 Jul 2024

5

New star announced as excitement builds for iMep Music Festival Irish singer songwriter Cian Ducrot. Credit Holly Whittaker.jpg.jpg

New star announced as excitement builds for iMep Music Festival

22 Jul 2024

Bec Web Strip 980x120
Background image for hub sign up block

LBV Hub

Leverage Lancashire Business View platforms

Post your news
Post your events
Post your offers
Build your network
Improve your SEO
Gain coverage in the magazine
Sign-up
Events
Lancashire Built Environment Conference
BEC 315 X 315 Px
Networking
25 Sep 2024

Lancashire Built Environment Conference

Conference and Exhibition Centre, Winter Gardens Blackpool, FY1 1HL

08:30 - 13:00

RISE - The Academy for Female Leaders and Managers
WENDY BOWERS RISE Illustrstion copy.jpg.jpg
LBV Hub Seminars
11 Jun 2024 - 04 Dec 2024

RISE - The Academy for Female Leaders and Managers

East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, Clayton le Moors, BB5 5JR

09:00 - 16:30

Preston Freelancer MeetUp and Coworking Day
Screenshot 2024-06-13 at 13.55.10.png.png
LBV Hub Networking
30 Jul 2024

Preston Freelancer MeetUp and Coworking Day

Society1 Coworking Space, Preston, PR1 3LT

10:00 - 12:00

Skills Bootcamp in Procurement - Cohort 1
Blue-Modern-Land-Travel-Youtube-Thumbnail-2-1024x576.png.png
LBV Hub Seminars
30 Jul 2024 - 08 Oct 2024

Skills Bootcamp in Procurement - Cohort 1

Community & Business Partners CIC, Blackburn, BB2 3UA

09:30 - 13:00

Scaling your revenue: From zero to £1m in 60 months
CBP-logo LBV.png.png
LBV Hub Webinar
31 Jul 2024

Scaling your revenue: From zero to £1m in 60 months

Online, Online, Online

08:00 - 09:30

Chamber Breakfast Networking
Chamber Logo1.png.png
LBV Hub Networking
31 Jul 2024

Chamber Breakfast Networking

Pye Motors, Morecambe, LA3 3PF

08:00 - 10:00

Online Women's Health Clinic
clinic.png.png
LBV Hub Webinar
06 Aug 2024

Online Women's Health Clinic

x, Online, x

12:00 - 12:00

International Coworking Day Open Day
1.png.png
LBV Hub Social
09 Aug 2024 - 09 Aug 2024

International Coworking Day Open Day

Society1 Coworking Space, Prestin, PR1 3 LT

10:00 - 13:00

Knowledge & Networking: Basic Digital Marketing
Chamber Logo1.png.png
LBV Hub Seminars
12 Aug 2024

Knowledge & Networking: Basic Digital Marketing

Lancaster Golf Club, Lancaster, LA2 0AJ

14:00 - 13:00

Understanding Menopause
menopause.png.png
LBV Hub Webinar
15 Aug 2024

Understanding Menopause

x, Online, x

12:30 - 13:15

Sub36 Networking Event - The Bee Centre
Sub36 Socialbee Centre
Networking
15 Aug 2024

Sub36 Networking Event - The Bee Centre

The Bee Centre, Chorley, PR6 8LZ

15:00 - 17:00

Mini Networkers - Family Fun Morning
CBP-logo LBV.png.png
LBV Hub Networking
16 Aug 2024

Mini Networkers - Family Fun Morning

Community & Business Partners CIC, Blackburn, BB2 3UA

10:00 - 13:00

Advertise with us

Reaching 50,000 members, our print, digital and event platforms offer a fantastic way to raise your business profile and help you grow.

Find out more LBV116 Online Graphic
Subscribe now

Weekly news bulletin