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North West business confidence rebounds in March
North West business confidence has bounced back after a low in February, to become one of the most confident regions in the UK, according to the latest Business Barometer from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking.
Business confidence in the North West rose to 39% in March, eight points higher than last month’s reading of 31%t, and the third highest in Britain behind London and the West Midlands.
Companies in the North West reported higher confidence in their business prospects at 47%, yet lower economic optimism at 31%.
Across the region, a net balance of 17% of businesses said they felt that the UK’s exit from the European Union was having a positive impact on their expectations for business activity, up 16 points on a month ago.
Firms’ hiring intentions showed that a net balance of 30% of businesses in the region expect to hire more staff during the next year, up three points on last month.
Nationally, overall confidence fell one point to 32%, driven by a dip in firms’ economic optimism.
The Business Barometer questions 1,200 businesses monthly and provides early signals about UK economic trends both regionally and nationwide.
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