Business confidence at six-year peak but higher VAT to test sales

BRITISH business confidence is at a six-year high, according to a new survey by the Institute of Chartered Accountants (ICAEW).<br /><br />The Business Confidence Monitor,&nbsp;&nbsp; out today, climbed to 24.6 for the fourth quarter, up from 4.8 in the third quarter. This is the highest reading since the series began in 2003 and will boost expectations that the economy is growing again.<br /><br />Nearly 60 per cent of the 1001 business professionals surveyed said they were more confident about the economic prospects in the fourth quarter, but the ICAEW said the recovery is still likely to be slow.<br /><br />Chief executive Michael Izza said the tightening of fiscal policy, the return to the 17.5 per cent VAT rate, and difficulties getting finance threatened the recovery.