Monday, 03 February 2014 16:10

Businesses urged to seize export opportunities as confidence slips back to two and a half year low

Fears of weakening prospects for the new year have knocked business confidence back to a two-and-a-half year low, according to the latest Business in Britain report from Lloyds TSB Commercial. Firms remain particularly worried about the outlook for demand in domestic markets and the eurozone, and are continuing to rein in recruitment and investment spending as a result. However, businesses are still upbeat about prospects in export markets outside Europe, where trade has remained resilient in recent months.

The twice-yearly report, which canvasses the views of more than 1,800 firms, shows that business confidence has fallen to its lowest level since mid-2009, when the economy was starting to emerge from recession.
John Maltby, Group Director, Lloyds Banking Group Commercial said: “Export markets outside Europe will be the key to growth for businesses, in what will undeniably be a tough start to the year.
“It is understandable that businesses are keeping the brakes on investment, given the volatile economic climate, but in order to break the cycle of dwindling confidence leading to slower growth, it is crucial that firms do whatever they can to maximise opportunities, at home or overseas.”