London’s enterprise sees bright future for business

Ben Southwood
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LONDON’S businesses are bullish about both their own futures and the short-term economic outlook for London as a whole, according to research published by the London Chambers of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) today.

A balance of 37 per cent of firms had positive overall expectations for their business over the coming 12 months, compared to 12 per cent six months ago and 31 per cent last quarter. A balance of zero would indicate that firms expected no change in conditions.

Businesses were not quite as positive on the future of London’s economy, but nevertheless 80 per cent of companies thought the capital’s prospects were positive or neutral over the coming 12 months.

Enterprises reported their own employment climbing over the second quarter, to a four and a half year high, with a positive figure of eight per cent on balance.

“In spite of the poor operating environment London firms are maintaining their staffing levels and many are actually taking on staff,” the report stated.

“London businesses are clearly gearing themselves up for a great summer, taking on staff and feeling much more positive about their future, despite other indicators being weak,” said LCCI chief executive Colin Stanbridge.

“The next few months should bring a much needed boost to sales both at home and abroad, and should hopefully be the start an economic recovery across the capital,” Stanbridge went on to say.

But nevertheless, firms face plenty of problems, the survey showed. Export and domestic sales remained in negative territory for domestic orders.

And while export orders were marginally positive – rising on the quarter, but still remaining down compared to the same period last year. Similarly, 31 per cent of firms reported that their cashflow worsened, compared to just 19 per cent who reported improvement.