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When confidence is king

Nia Williams

July 13, 2015

Tony Ward is chief executive of Clayton Euro Risk

Notwithstanding the continuing saga of Greece’s debt crisis and the recent volatility in Chinese financial markets, confidence among UK businesses remains buoyant according to separate research from Lloyds and Deloitte. Companies are optimistic about increasing sales and profitability in the second half of this year with finance directors eager to take risks to deliver growth.

This has got to be good news.

Businesses also expect that their export sales to rise and their investment spending to increase over the coming six months. All this despite fears of the impact of Greece’s debt crisis, the threat of Britain leaving the EU and the possibility of rising interest rates. Tim Hinton, managing director of Lloyds’ mid-markets and SME banking division said: “Businesses remain eager to invest in staff and infrastructure for the long term and while certain challenges remain on the horizon….the overall outlook is strong for the UK, particularly in the construction and manufacturing sectors”.

Looking good, then. This coincides with some refreshing upbeat data from market research company GfK whose UK Consumer Confidence Index increased six points to seven in June. This suggests that it’s not just businesses but also consumers who were looking ahead positively. Joe Staton, head of market dynamics at GfK, said: “We’re seeing a dramatic uptick in confidence this month, a real post-election bounce that’s put a spring in the step of consumers across the UK. June’s six-point jump takes the Overall Index Score back to levels not seen since the late nineties or early days of the noughties. Across all key measures we’re reporting higher levels of financial optimism for both our personal situation and for the general economy as a whole for the coming 12 months.”

Long may this positive attitude continue as, when it comes down to it, confidence, as they say, is all.


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