Significant rise in business confidence, ICAEW reveals

Business optimism has moved into positive territory in the second quarter of this year, according to business confidence monitor data published by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW).

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Confidence amongst UK firms has increased from -8.7 in the first quarter of 2017 to 6.7 during the second quarter.

However, the ICAEW has warned that, with the General Election and Brexit negotiations looming, businesses have decided to put recruitment and wage growth on hold.

As a result, the ICAEW is urging all political parties to outline ‘how they are going to address the problem of business investment’.

Commenting on the apparent rise in business confidence, Stephen Ibbotson, Director of Business at the ICAEW, said: ‘It’s encouraging to see that confidence is starting to rise after a sustained period of decline.

‘Yet against this improved sentiment, businesses are not investing in staff and wages and may well be waiting to see what happens in the political arena, particularly in relation to how the EU negotiations play out.’

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