Businesses not feeling so buoyant during August

Hayley Kirton
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Business confidence melted away during August (Source: Getty)

Businesses were not feeling so sunny during August, as a report out today shows confidence dipped during the summer month.

According to Lloyds Bank's Business Barometer for August, UK business confidence has dropped 13 points since July to a lowly 16 per cent.

However, confidence reported in August's report was still higher than in the June survey, which was carried out shortly after the referendum, when the level slumped to just six per cent.

Meanwhile, the net level of companies reporting an improvement to their trading prospects – which is the level who are feeling optimistic about trading activity less those who are feeling more pessimistic – slumped 22 points to 19 per cent, the lowest level recorded since December 2011.

In particular, one in five (22 per cent) now felt their prospects for the future were less positive, up significantly from five per cent reported in July.

The results were more positive for those currently job hunting, as Lloyds also found a net third (33 per cent) of firms expected to increase their staffing levels in the next year, the highest level recorded in five months and up from 32 per cent recorded in July.

"Our August survey shows a fall in overall confidence, although it remains above the low in June," said Hann-Ju Ho, senior economist for Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking. "It is consistent with a slowdown in UK growth prospects in the second half of the year and may reflect a growing expectation for some that a more challenging economic outlook will have a negative impact on their own company prospects. Despite this, hiring plans continue to indicate resilience."

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