Rising confidence helps UK outlook

BRITAIN’S economy is finally set to recover, according to analysis of forward-looking indicators published yesterday.

A study of indicators like industrial orders, expected output, consumer confidence and share prices point to only a brief downturn, before a recovery in a few months time.

The Conference Board’s leading economic index (LEI) rose 0.9 points in January after falling 0.5 in December and 0.6 in November.

“The sharp increase in the LEI for the UK, its first increase in six months, helps to reverse at least part of the recent decline in the index, suggesting that a stabilization in the downward trend of the LEI may be underway,” said Conference Board economist Jean-Claude Manini.

“The recovery in risk appetite on financial markets which started in December has been followed by an improvement in business and consumer confidence.

“Together with the modest improvement in current economic conditions, the data is consistent with the outlook of a short, shallow contraction.”