CBI: Firms optimistic over credit access

The latest Confederation of British Industry (CBI) poll suggests the severity of the credit crunch is easing.


The latest Confederation of British Industry (CBI) poll suggests the severity of the credit crunch is easing.

The latest Confederation of British Industry (CBI) poll suggests the severity of the credit crunch is easing.

According to March’s Access To Finance Survey, companies are less negative about the availability of new and existing credit than they were in February.

The net balance of firms which reported declines in new credit fell from 59 per cent in February to 36 per cent last month, while the net balance of declines in existing credit dropped from 25 per cent to 16 per cent.

Ian McCafferty, chief economic advisor at the CBI, says that the figures do not show that credit conditions are improving, but point to an easing of severity over the past three months.

He adds: ‘The combination of easier monetary policy and the government’s measures to support the banking sector may be starting to have an impact.’

The survey also reveals that the number of firms expecting conditions to worsen over the next three months has improved slightly, with the balance dropping from 38 per cent in February to 36 per cent in March.

Last week, the Federation of Small Businesses called on the government to use the upcoming Budget to address problems such as poor access to finance and tightening cashflow.

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