City grows confident about 2014

CLOUDS over the City of London are finally lifting, with firms growing confident that 2014 will mark the end of the difficult five years following the financial crisis.

A report by TheCityUK released exclusively to City A.M. today shows London’s competitiveness as a finance centre is continuing to improve, and optimism for the year ahead is building back up.

“The optimism is what now stands out. Quiet, cautious, but growing confidence. Looking to the year ahead we see more good than bad news, and that’s due to feed through in employment and initial public offerings (IPOs),” said Chris Cummings, chief executive officer of TheCityUK. According to the group, their members expect to increase investment and hiring in the year ahead.

He added that the major ongoing challenges came from across the channel, in the shape of a referendum on the UK’s EU membership and ongoing negotiations for banking union in the euro area: “The City is a European asset as much as a UK asset. Stability in the Eurozone is still important, and growth should now be on the agenda.”

The report finds that 11 major indicators of competitiveness improved in the third quarter of the year, while only seven declined. Mergers and acquisitions in western Europe were the icing on the cake between July and September, with the highest quarterly total since 2008.