Business confidence edges up to a 5-month high butimpact of Brexit looms for larger companies

“Despite a slight increase in overall business confidence, firms continue to remain concerned about the outlook for the economy. The results point to the economy continuing to expand in Q4 at a similar pace to recent quarters. However, larger companies reported weakest business prospects as well as biggest concerns about the impact of Brexit.”


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Business Barometer measure of overall business confidence is the average of responses about how businesses regard the economic outlook and their own trading prospects.

  • The overall “balance” of opinion weighs up the percentage of firms that are positive in outlook against those that are negative.  Responses are weighted to reflect the composition of the economy.
  • The industrial sector in this report represents mainly manufacturing and construction; the consumer services sector comprises distribution and transport & communications; business & other services consists of financial & business services and the public sector.
  • The Business Barometer results provide early signals about UK economic trends and other business surveys such as the PMI survey. The survey started in January 2002 and research is carried out monthly on behalf of Lloyds Bank by BDRC Continental.
  • This survey was conducted with around 300 companies with turnover above £1 million between 27th and 11th December 2017 from all sectors and regions of Great Britain.

Notes to Editors

* Refers to the long term average on economic optimism for firms set in 2002.

** Refers to the long term average for staffing levels set in 2011.