Feeling good: Optimism among UK businesses reaches highest level in 15 months

Hayley Kirton
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Industry has held up better than hoped for post-Brexit vote (Source: Getty)

Optimism among UK businesses reached its highest level in 15 months in December, figures released today show, as firms got back into the swing of things after the initial referendum fallout.

The optimism index compiled by professional services firm BDO, which measures how firms think their order books will grow over the next six months, increased to 102.2 last month, up from 98 in November 2016 and 100.5 in December 2015.

The accountancy giant pegged the improving outlook partly on the UK's services and manufacturing sectors, particularly the car manufacturing sector, holding up better than expected after June's Brexit vote.

Read more: UK manufacturers leave Brexit panic far behind

"British businesses are feeling pretty confident at the moment, helped by the impact of the currency depreciation on export competitiveness," added Peter Hemington, partner at BDO. "There's also a feeling out there that the world economy is picking up again as we go into 2017.

"Brexit may mean gloomy news in the press and, at times, chaos in government. But our business community is getting on with it on the basis that opportunities for growth are there to be grabbed."

Read more: Manufacturers did better than expected in November, despite Brexit fears

However, although bosses might be all smiles at the moment, BDO also found that woes about inflation could wipe the grin from their faces in the future.

BDO's index is scaled to 100, meaning ratings above 100 indicate a positive outlook and those below 100 point towards a negative outlook.

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