Business confidence in the UK economy has turned positive for the first time since June 2018, according to new data.
Employers are increasingly optimistic about the economic outlook as pandemic restrictions have eased, according to the latest Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) Jobs Outlook survey.
In the quarter to 31 May, confidence has jumped 21 percentage points to net positive score of 11, the first positive reading in three years and hitting its highest level in nearly five.
Managers and business owners also recorded a positive score when asked if they were confident in making hiring and investment decisions, at 29 points – the highest level since March 2016.
Neil Carberry, boss of the REC, said: “This surge in employers’ confidence in the UK economy is remarkable – an improvement of 61 percentage points from the previous quarter as restrictions were lifted and businesses started to open again.
“Positivity about hiring has steadily improved alongside that, and we are now seeing the highest levels of confidence for five years.
“However, we are seeing labour and skills shortages across the economy right now, which the pandemic has made worse.