Confidence in economic recovery gathers steam among finance bosses in the UK and EU

Jasper Jolly
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It's a thumbs up from British chief financial officers (and probably Cliff Richard) (Source: Getty)

Optimism among Britain’s finance bosses has surged as the recovery in the economy has gained pace and political risks abate, a new survey has revealed.

The balance of the UK’s chief financial officers reporting overall optimism on their company’s prospects has rebounded sharply from six months ago, in the immediate aftermath of the referendum, according to accountants Deloitte.

Some 31 per cent of the UK executives surveyed are more optimistic than they were three months ago, up from only 16 per cent last autumn.

Read more: British businesses intend to invest more despite consumer spending slowdown

More than 60 per cent predict revenue growth over the next year, despite 85 per cent reporting significant uncertainty.

While business confidence plunged in the aftermath of the EU referendum, before the last survey, it has since recovered as fears of economic chaos proved unfounded.

Meanwhile political risks across Europe have diminished since last year, as a succession of candidates perceived as negative for markets, including the far-right Marine Le Pen in France, have failed to win crucial elections.

Almost two in every five chief financial officers of European companies believe the outlook for their company has improved.

Read more: Optimism remains for these UK workers

That represents a massive improvement from the quarter of finance bosses who said they were confident in the autumn of last year.

Only Turkey, which has been wracked by political and economic turmoil, has seen confidence fall.

Ian Stewart, chief economist at Deloitte UK, said: “The European recovery has moved up a gear. The mood among businesses across the continent has brightened and this has fed through to a growing willingness to invest and hire.

“The shift by the big allocators of capital in Europe towards growth strategies tells us that this recovery has staying power”.

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