According to the latest Business Barometer from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, companies in the East Midlands are showing the most positivity.
The Business Barometer questions 1,200 businesses monthly and for September saw firms in the East Midlands looking the most confident, at 15%, ahead of the West Midlands and Yorkshire (both on 7%). Across the UK, overall confidence rose one point to 2% as confidence in their own prospects rose five points to 13%. Those in Scotland were the least confident, with an overall confidence of -18%, 20 points below the national average.
Overall confidence remained the weakest in the manufacturing sector, where it fell by five points to -2%, and the services sector, which remained unchanged at -3%. Overall business confidence in the retail sector rose by eight points to 14% but fell two points in the construction sector to 10%.
Hann-Ju Ho, senior economist for Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “While overall business confidence this month has remained broadly steady across the UK, optimism in the economy has fallen, and both remain significantly below the same period last year, and the historic average.