Finance

Business confidence in Wales rose sharply in November

Business confidence in Wales rose more than any other nation or region in the UK during November.

The latest Business Barometer from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking showed a hike of 14 points to 37%.

The overall ‘balance’ of opinion weighs up the percentage of firms that are positive in outlook against those that are negative.

Companies in Wales reported higher confidence in their own business prospects month-on-month, up 17 points at 44%. When taken alongside their optimism in the economy, up nine points to 30%, this gives a headline confidence reading of 37%.

The Business Barometer, which questions 1,200 businesses monthly, provides early signals about UK economic trends both regionally and nationwide. A new balance of 37% of businesses in Wales expect to increase staff levels over the next year, up 21 points on last month.

Amanda Dorel, regional director for Wales at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “It’s fantastic to see business confidence in Wales return so emphatically this month.

“It’s clear firms are looking to the future with more optimism and have set their sights on growth after a turbulent period.

“It’s great to see too that so many firms are planning to create new jobs in the next year, which will be a massive boost to the Welsh economy as we continue to build back from the impacts of the pandemic.

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“We will be by the side of businesses across the country to help them as they do so.”

All UK nations and regions had positive confidence readings in November.

While Wales had the biggest increase month on month firms in London (down two points to 63%) remained the most confident followed by followed by the North East (down 16 points to 45%).

At a sector level, confidence slipped in manufacturing (42%), to its lowest since August, linked to the persistence of supply-chain disruptions, while it fell to a seven-month low of 28% in construction.

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