max temp: 7°C

min temp: 4°C


East Anglia: Business optimism continuing to build, Lloyds Business Confidence Index survey reveals

06:00 30 June 2014

Steve Elsom, Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking.

Steve Elsom, Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking.

Business confidence in East Anglia has increased strongly since the start of the year, according to the latest Business in Britain report from Lloyds Bank.


The findings of the twice-yearly report, now in its 22nd year, will fuel hopes that the region is well placed for a sustained recovery.

The survey’s key Business Confidence Index tracks businesses’ views of expected sales, orders and profits for the coming six months and presents the overall “balance” of opinion, weighing up the percentage of firms that are positive in outlook against those that are negative.

In this latest report East Anglia’s confidence index has increased by 10 points to 57%, from 47% in the previous survey in January, mainly driven by increasing profits.

Steve Elsom, area director for SME banking in East Anglia for Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “We hope that this upturn in confidence will lead to a further improvement in economic activity for the second half of 2014 to allow East Anglia businesses to grow and prosper.”

Prospects for firms across East Anglia in the second half of 2014 also look set to continue the sharp rebound in UK economic activity since early 2013.

Almost two-thirds of East Anglia businesses (64%) said that they expect their orders to increase during the second half of the year; compared to only 3% that anticipate a decline. The resulting 61% overall net balance represents a 11 point increase from January 2014.

Similarly, nearly three-quarters businesses (71%) said they think their sales will increase in the next six months, while less than one in 10 (7%) expect a drop, leading to a 64% overall balance a nine point increase from the beginning of the year.

The balance of firms anticipating greater scope for increasing prices over the next six months has decreased by 10 points to 22% while the net balance of firms expecting rising profits has increased to 46%, from 35% in January.

The net balance of businesses expecting to increase their exports over the next six months rose by two points to 54%. Just 3% cent expect their exports to drop in the next six months compared to more than half of businesses (57%) who anticipate an increase.

Over two-fifths (46%) of businesses expect to grow their total exports to Europe during the second half of the year, with 6% expecting a fall. This is an increase from six months ago when the overall balance expecting an increase was 32%.

Almost a third of East Anglia businesses (32%) said that they will increase staff numbers during the second half of the year while 9% said they planned reductions.

The overall net balance of 23% expecting to boost staff numbers is a rise of five points from January this year and a fresh survey high. The increase in the net balance points to further employment gains as the recovery matures.

At the same time, the balance of companies reporting challenges in the recruitment of skilled workers continues with a three point increase to 33%.

The report shows that nearly a third of East Anglia businesses (30%) expect to increase their capital expenditure over the next six months while just 8% are planning cutbacks. This results in a net balance of 23% planning to ramp up investment in the second half of the year, which is an increase of 14 points from January this year.

Steve Elsom added: “It’s encouraging to see that East Anglia businesses are looking to export more and that they feel more bullish about Europe as it emerges from recession. The survey implies that they are eager to invest more in infrastructure and staff, which we hope will result in them developing and growing on the international stage.”


1 comment

  • Oh No !, not another 'optimism' survey ?, John Major tried that one years ago ! "Confidence and Optimism", trouble was we couldn't pay our bills with them !. Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics' !

    Report this comment


    Monday, June 30, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

The incident happened in Duke Street (stock photo)

The victim of a violent attack during a party at an Ipswich flat has described how his arm was nearly cut off with a machete.

The Tories have, in theory, lost their majority at Endeavour House.

The resignation of Suffolk County Council’s former education spokeswoman Lisa Chambers from the authority has formally robbed the ruling Conservative group at Endeavour House of its majority.

East Anglian Air Ambulance

A motorist who was seriously injured in a crash on the A134 on Tuesday evening has died.

RAF Marham Tornado GR4 jets have taken part in bombing missions over Iraq.

Suffolk’s MPs are likely to provide a united front in support of the Government in any new debate on bombing Syria in the wake of the Paris atrocities.

New homes planned for Poplar Lane Sproughton.

Babergh councillors are today being urged to give permission for more than 600 homes on the edge of Ipswich – despite strong opposition from the town itself.

Undated handout photo issued by ITV of Kieron Dyer who has been revealed as one of the contestants for I'm A Celebrity ... Get Me Out Of Here! 2015. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Tuesday November 10, 2015. Also among the 10-strong line-up is Diana Princess of Wales biographer Lady Colin Campbell, fashion guru Susannah Constantine, Spandau Ballet's Tony Hadley, TV personality Yvette Fielding, X Factor choreographer Brian Friedman and Union J's George Shelley. See PA story SHOWBIZ Celebrity. Photo credit should read: ITV/PA Wire

NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.

Kieron Dyer was given a rare night of luxury after winning a stay at the Jungle Boutique Hotel, but tensions are running high in the I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here camp.

Empty homes are being tackled

Nearly 780 homes have been identified as “long term empty” in the Suffolk Coastal area – but housing chiefs are confident they are getting to grips with the problem.

Humber Doucy Lane, Ipswich.

A couple aged in their 70s were injured during a robbery at an Ipswich home.

Izzy Alder

An 18-year-old woman who failed to arrive at school today has been found.

The Lighthouse project in Ipswich is celebrating its 40th anniversary.Ali Jordan and Ursula Burrows in a meeting.

There is a collage on the wall of messages from women who have been helped by Lighthouse Women’s Aid in Ipswich, formerly known as Ipswich Women’s Aid.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages

Local business directory

Suffolk's trusted business finder

Property search

e.g. Oxford or NW3
Powered by Zoopla

Digital Edition

Read the Ipswich Star e-edition today E-edition

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24