Firms in Yorkshire most confident in UK

Yorks & Humber businesses cautious despite healthy sales growth
Credit: Sean K

Business confidence in Yorkshire & the Humber experienced the biggest rise of an UK region.

According to the latest ‘Business Barometer’ from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, business confidence in the region rose 26 points to 43% in November.

Companies reported higher confidence in their business prospects, up 17 points to 46%, and higher economic optimism, which rose 36 points to 40%.

Meanwhile, firms’ hiring intentions showed that a net balance of 32% of businesses in the region expect to hire more staff during the next year, up 18 points on last month.

Nationally, overall confidence bounced back, climbing five points to 24% as firms’ optimism about the economy rose nine points to 17%. Companies’ confidence in their own business prospects rose two points to 31%.

The ‘Business Barometer’ questions 1,200 businesses monthly and provides early signals about UK economic trends both regionally and nationwide.

“There has been no shortage of good news across the region in the last month, which has in turn driven rising business confidence,” said Kelly Green, Regional Director for Yorkshire at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking.

“South Yorkshire has welcomed the opening of Boeing’s £40 million site and McLaren’s £50 million factory, Leeds has been confirmed as the location for Channel 4’s new national headquarters, while Siemens has also announced the creation of 700 jobs in Goole.

“It is good to see a broad base of investment in the Yorkshire region – from manufacturing to media – which demonstrates the strength and diversity of the local economy.

“Together these recent developments have boosted firms’ confidence in both the wider economy and their own prospects, which is reflected in management teams’ plans to create new jobs.”

Across Yorkshire, a net balance of 10 % of businesses said they felt that the UK’s exit from the European Union was having a positive impact on their expectations for business activity, up seven points on a month ago.