‘Recession at an end,’ says ICAEW

Confidence among business professionals has turned positive for the first time in two years, indicating the recession may be at an end, says a survey.


Confidence among business professionals has turned positive for the first time in two years, indicating the recession may be at an end, says a survey.

Confidence among business professionals has turned positive for the first time in two years, indicating the recession may be at an end, says a survey.

The latest Institute for Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) Business Confidence Monitor (BCM) shows a record increase in optimism from -28.2 to +4.8.

Michael Izza, chief executive of the body, says: ‘This quarter’s BCM suggests that the UK recession is at an end. While there is no doubt that the UK economy is on its way to recovery, we shouldn’t underestimate the challenges ahead for businesses.

‘Businesses have taken the right actions to mitigate the impact of the downturn and are playing their part in an improving economy. Policies such as quantitative easing, the fall in interest rates and the VAT reduction have all helped improve business confidence.’

The most confident sector is IT (+18.5 per cent), followed by banking, finance and insurance (+15.9 per cent) and property (+11.7 per cent). Health and education is the least confident sector, with fears of public spending cuts leading to the lowest confidence balance of -12.2 per cent.

More than 1,000 chartered accountants were surveyed in the BCM and the ICAEW is now predicting that GDP will rise 0.5 per cent this quarter.

In a poll by Barclays Commercial Bank, nearly three-quarters of businesses described their attitude towards the economy as either ‘hopeful’ or ‘excited’.

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