Friday, September 25, 2020

Yorkshire firms among least pessimistic in UK, survey shows

Yorkshire businesses are among the least pessimistic in the UK, according to latest Business Barometer from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking.

The survey, which questions 1,200 businesses monthly and provides early signals about UK economic trends both regionally and nationwide, shows that business confidence in Yorkshire & the Humber rose eight points during June to -23%.

Although companies in the region reported lower confidence in their own business prospects month-on-month at -22%, economic optimism climbed 14 points at -26%.

Together, this gives a headline confidence reading of -23%, above the UK average of -30%, while making Yorkshire the second least pessimistic region in the UK.

When asked about the impact of coronavirus on their business, almost half (48%)  said they expect to be operating at more than 50% of capacity by the end of June, although 4% didn’t expect to be operating at all.

A fifth (19%) said it would take three months until they were back to operating at pre-COVID-19 levels, with only 6% expecting it to take more than 12 months.

The majority of firms continued to see demand fall during June, though the picture improved month-on-month. While 63% experienced a fall in demand for their products and services, this was down six points on May. Meanwhile, 14% experienced an increase in demand, up two points on the month before.

Of the 69% of businesses reporting disruption to their supply chain during June, 28% expected the situation to improve within three months, with just 3% expecting it to take more than 12 months.

“There are encouraging signs in June’s Barometer reading, with Yorkshire firms having one of the least pessimistic outlooks in the UK,” said Paul Varley, Regional Director for Yorkshire & the Humber at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking.

“The region has the smallest proportion of companies not operating and the highest percentage of firms working above half capacity – so it does indicate that business confidence is starting to pick up.

“With further easing of restrictions and social distancing measures, we hope that the region’s outlook continues to improve. We’ll be by the side of Yorkshire businesses as they plan ahead for the future.”

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