Business confidence in Yorkshire and the Humber decreases

Business confidence in Yorkshire and the Humber has fallen during September, according to the latest Business Barometer from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking.

Confidence in the region fell 12 points to 11% as firms’ optimism about their own prospects fell sharply.

Companies in Yorkshire reported lower confidence in their prospects, with a net balance of 1% expecting business activity to decrease, while a net balance of 1% also expect their headcount to decrease over the next year.

Despite this, firms’ optimism about the economy rose four points to 22%, while the survey found that businesses in the region remained evenly split on whether the UK’s decision to leave the EU was having a positive or negative impact on business activity.

Stephen Harris, regional director for Yorkshire at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “The fact that more businesses are expecting business activity and staff numbers to fall over the next year is of course a cause for concern.

“However, it’s important to note that this is only to a very small degree, and that it could be a reflection of the uncertainty facing businesses at the moment, with firms split over the potential impact of leaving the EU.

“It’s encouraging to see economic optimism growing, possibly reflecting recent infrastructure improvement announcements. Upgrading the Transpennine Route and expanding Leeds Bradford Airport will help improve connections across the north and beyond and provide new opportunities for the region’s firms.”

The Business Barometer questions 1,200 businesses monthly and provides early signals about UK economic trends both regionally and nationwide.