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East Anglia Future 50

Brexit is still a worry for firms in the east

PUBLISHED: 15:02 28 June 2019 | UPDATED: 15:02 28 June 2019

Business confidence is improving in the East of England says a Lloyds Bank survey.
The busy Port of Felixstowe as seen from Shotley  Picture: MICK WEBB

Business confidence is improving in the East of England says a Lloyds Bank survey. The busy Port of Felixstowe as seen from Shotley Picture: MICK WEBB

Mick Webb

Business confidence is on the up in the East of England, despite Brexit, says Lloyds Bank.

David Atkinson. regional director of the East of England at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking. Picture by FABIO DE PAOLADavid Atkinson. regional director of the East of England at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking. Picture by FABIO DE PAOLA

The Lloyds Bank Business Baromoter, for June, shows overall confidence from firms in the east rose in the past month.

Companies in the East of England reported higher confidence in their own business prospects, at 29% compared with 26% in May.

When combined with their views on the economy, this gives an overall confidence level of 13%.

Businesses' hiring intentions show a balance of 23% of businesses in the region expect to hire more staff during the next year, up 23 points on last month.

Trade stands at the Royal Norfolk Show. Picture: BRITANNY CREASEY.Trade stands at the Royal Norfolk Show. Picture: BRITANNY CREASEY.

The Business Barometer questions 1,200 businesses monthly and provides early signals about UK economic trends, comparing optimism with negative views.

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David Atkinson, regional director for the East of England at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: "It's great to see confidence in the East of England bounce back in June, following a dip last month.

"A growing number of firms in the region are expecting to hire in the next year, showing that they're happy to back their push for growth with investment.

"We're committed to working by the side of businesses as they do that, which is why we've pledged to lend up to £1.7 billion to the region's businesses this year."

"Across the region, a net balance of 17% of businesses say they feel that the UK's exit from the European Union is having a negative impact on their expectations for business activity, down 18 points on a month ago."

Nationally businesses in the West Midlands show most confidence at 25%, ahead of those in London (18%).

Those in the Yorkshire and Humber are the least confident, with an overall confidence of 5%, down 18 points and eight points below the national average.

Business confidence increased in the retail sector, up by 11 points to 22%. Gains were also seen in construction, up five points to 17%, and in the services sector, up five points to 12%.

In contrast, confidence in the manufacturing sector fell by 11 points, bringing June's figures back in line with the low seen earlier this year.

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