‘It’s disappointing’ – Business confidence across East of England continues to fall

PUBLISHED: 11:37 05 September 2019 | UPDATED: 12:49 05 September 2019

Lloyds Bank�s regional director has labelled the drop in confidence as �disappointing�. Photo: Archant/FABIO DE PAOLA

Lloyds Bank�s regional director has labelled the drop in confidence as �disappointing�. Photo: Archant/FABIO DE PAOLA


Business confidence across the East of England has continued to plummet as Brexit fears rise.

The latest Business Barometer from Lloyds Bank found overall confidence dropped by five points to 4% between July and August.

This is the second month running confidence has fallen, with a four point drop previously reported.

East Anglian firms also reported lower confidence in their business prospects at 10%.

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Combined with their views on the outlook for the economy, this gives an overall confidence of 4%.

"It's disappointing to see business confidence falling for another month", said David Atkinson, regional director for the East of England at Lloyds.

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"It reflects the uncertainty that is currently prevailing across the UK.

"At Lloyds Bank we are committed to standing by the side of businesses - we are pledging £1.7bn to support firms in the region this year and look forward to seeing business confidence grow again in the coming months."

The barometer's findings show businesses are only slightly more optimistic than those around the country.

Across the UK, overall confidence slipped to 1% as businesses became more downbeat about the economic outlook and confidence in their own prospects fell by 8%.

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Hann-Ju Ho, senior economist for Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: "We have seen a dip in overall business confidence this month, with firms appearing less positive about their own trading prospects and the broader economy, and remaining low against the historic average.

"While ongoing economic uncertainty is likely a key driver, it's worth noting that companies' assessment of the expected impact on their business of the UK leaving the EU has remained broadly unchanged this year."

The Business Barometer questions 1,200 business each month and provides early signal about UK economic trends both regionally and nationwide.

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