Confidence grows despite pressures
Regional businesses have expressed greater confidence, but are not anticipating growth over the coming six months, according to the latest Business Trends report by Bristol-based accountants and business advisers BDO LLP.
Its Optimism Index increased by 1.7 points in February, after its monthly reading fell to a its 21-year low in January.
Despite this increase, businesses still do not anticipate growth and a sharp increase in the BDO Inflation Index points to further pressure on businesses bottom lines.
BDO said that in spite of this increased optimism, the overall picture remains bleak. Its Inflation Index, which measures inflationary expectations one quarter ahead, increased from 100.4 in January to 101.5 in February, its highest level since September 2012. It said these added inflationary pressures could hamper business performance over the coming three months.
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In addition, BDO's Output Index, which predicts short-run turnover expectations fell this month, suggesting that economic conditions will remain tough in three months time. Its said the services sector in particular "continues to struggle."