Midland firms are pessimistic – but less gloomy than rest of UK
Businesses in the West Midlands remain pessimistic – but are not as downbeat as firms in other regions, new figures show.
The latest business barometer from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking found confidence in our region rose five points during June, although it still stands at minus 18 per cent.
West Midlands businesses’ optimism towards their business prospects was unchanged month-on-month at minus 15 per cent and firms’ confidence in the economy grew 11 points on May.
The barometer questions 1,200 businesses monthly and provides early signals about UK economic trends both regionally and nationwide. It shows that optimism levels are higher here than elsewhere in the country.
Amanda Dorel, regional director for the West Midlands at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “There are promising signs that optimism in the West Midlands is beginning to improve, with business confidence rising for the second month in a row – albeit from historic lows.
"The reopening of the retail sector has provided a boost through the supply chain, and the expected restart of hospitality will be another important step towards recovery.
"We’re ready to support businesses across the West Midlands as they plan ahead for the future.”
When asked about the impact of coronavirus on their business, a third said they expect to be operating at more than 50 per cent of capacity by the end of June, while 10 per cent didn’t expect to be operating at all by the same point.
A fifth said it would take up to six months until they were back to operating at pre-Covid-19 levels, although seven per cent expect it to take more than 12 months.