Business confidence hit by Eurozone health fears

CONCERNS over the health of the Eurozone have dragged business confidence down from April’s two-year high, according to a snapshot from Lloyds TSB Corporate Markets.

The proportion of boards expecting an upturn in trading over the coming year fell 11 per cent to just under a third, the bank said in a monthly update. Managers’ faith in the wider economy weakened, with the proportion of firms feeling more upbeat than three months ago also slipping 11 per cent to 36 per cent.

This suggests sentiment has been hit by market volatility caused by doubts over the ability of countries such as Greece and Portugal to finance themselves, despite €750bn (£618bn) of EU support.

Trevor Williams, chief economist at Lloyds TSB Corporate Markets, said: “Business optimism feeds off the wider economy. Over the past few months, confidence has started to claw its way back to normality.