Business confidence held firm in July, improving slightly compared with last month's responses after the General Election outcome, according to a long-running survey published today.
Overall business confidence remained unchanged at 30 per cent, just below the long-term average of 32 per cent, Lloyds Bank's business barometer for July said.
Businesses expecting an improvement in their own prospects increased by one point to 43 per cent in July, while economic optimism fell by one point to 17 per cent, which was the lowest level in six months.
Hann-Ju Ho, senior economist for Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said:
The July report shows that overall business confidence remained stable compared with June overall, but it did show an improvement compared with the responses last month that were taken after the election outcome.
Confidence remains just below the long-term average and is consistent with a moderately positive pace of economic expansion.
Sentiment in manufacturing and construction jumped by 20 points to 53 per cent, the highest level for three months. Consumer services confidence also improved by six points to 20 per cent, while business services confidence fell by 14 points to 24 per cent.
The net balance of firms expecting to hire over the coming year remained positive but fell by nine points to 25 per cent, dipping below the long-term average of 29 per cent.
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