Regional confidence bouncing back

Glenn Bemment
Glenn Bemment
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North West businesses bounced back from February’s low to become one of the most confident regions in the UK, according to the latest Business Barometer from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking.

The report said business confidence in the North West rose to 39 per cent in March, eight points higher than last month’s reading of 31 per cent, and the third highest in Britain behind London and the West Midlands.

Companies in the region reported higher confidence in their business prospects at 47 per cent, yet lower economic optimism at 31 per cent.

Firms’ hiring intentions showed that a net balance of 30 per cent of businesses in the region expect to hire in the next year, up three points on last month.

Glenn Bemment, regional director for North West at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “It’s encouraging to see that businesses are finishing the first quarter of 2018 feeling optimistic about the year ahead, and particularly about their own business prospects.”

Overall confidence was strongest in the transport and manufacturing sectors,and weakest in wholesale, hospitality and leisure .