During October, business confidence in Yorkshire and the Humber fell two points, the latest ‘Business Barometer’ from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking has found.
Companies in the region report higher economic optimism, which rose three points to 5%, but lower confidence in their trading prospects, which fell six points to 6% – giving an overall confidence of 5%.
But businesses’ hiring intentions took a knock with a net balance of -6% of businesses in the region expecting to hire more staff during the next year, down 10 points on last month.
Across the UK, overall confidence rose four points to 6% as firms’ confidence in their own prospects climbed two points to 15%.
The Business Barometer questions 1,200 businesses monthly and provides early signals about UK economic trends both regionally and nationwide. October’s survey was conducted before the government announced its new deal on the UK’s departure from the EU.
“It’s good to see businesses remaining optimistic overall in their outlook. Confidence has generally held steady in the region, despite a marginal dip on the previous month,” said Kelly Green, Regional Director for Yorkshire and the Humber at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking.
“However, it will be important for companies reporting lower confidence in trading prospects to manage their working capital carefully, especially in the coming months – when many firms will be expecting seasonal spikes in demand.”
Across the region, a net balance of 12% of businesses said they felt that the UK’s exit from the European Union was having a negative impact on their expectations for business activity, down three points on a month ago.