Regional firms 'hopeful' on economy

HALF of businesses in East Anglia now describe their attitude towards the general state of the economy as “hopeful”, while more than three quarters are still growing or predict they will return to growth within the next year, according to research from Barclays Commercial Bank.

HALF of businesses in East Anglia now describe their attitude towards the general state of the economy as “hopeful”, while more than three quarters are still growing or predict they will return to growth within the next year, according to research from Barclays Commercial Bank.

The Connecting East Anglia survey, carried out at recent Barclays Commercial events, found that 50% of respondents characterised their outlook towards the economy as “hopeful”, with a further 20% describing their attitude as “excited”. Only 14% stated they were “worried” by the general state of the economy.

The research also revealed a confident stance towards recovery, with 35% of respondents claiming their business continues to grow and 17% believing their company will move back into a sustained growth phase by the end of the year. Additionally, 24% believe this growth will occur within six to 12 months.

David Farrow, managing director for Barclays Commercial Bank in the eastern region, said: “The past 18 months have tested many business leaders and organisations in East Anglia like never before, but we are now seeing renewed optimism and confidence returning.

“Many business people are now positioning their businesses to fully capitalise on the economic upswing when it happens, while still realistically forecasting for difficult conditions in the short term.”

The study polled 118 respondents representing businesses in East Anglia with an annual turnover of more than �1 million and representing a range of industries and sectors.