Businesses in the North West are planning to create more jobs during 2020 as confidence in the region held steady at 6% during December, according to the latest Business Barometer from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking.
Companies report higher confidence in their business prospects at 19%, up nine points on last month’s figure. When taken alongside their views of the economy overall, this gives an overall confidence reading of 6%.
A net balance of 14% of businesses in the region expect to hire more staff during the next year, up six points on last month.
Across the UK, overall confidence edged up one point to 10% as firms’ confidence in their own prospects rose six points to 18%, although their optimism in the economy fell to 2%.
The Business Barometer questions 1,200 businesses monthly and provides early signals about UK economic trends both regionally and nationwide. This month’s survey was carried out before the result of last week’s General Election was known.
Martyn Kendrick, regional director for North West at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “The North West is a resilient region with a robust and diverse local economy.
“As confidence in their own prospects increases and firms look to grow their headcount in 2020, we’ll be by the side of businesses helping them to achieve their ambitions.
“That’s why we pledged to provide £1.3billion to local firms in 2019 as part of our plan to help Britain prosper.”
Across the region, a net balance of 19% of businesses said they felt that the UK’s exit from the European Union was having a negative impact on their expectations for business activity, down three points on a month ago.