UK services businesses becoming more confident

Tuesday 27 November 2012

Business confidence

Confidence levels are slowly rising in the UK services sector, it has been reported.

Research conducted by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) found that optimism levels are up on three months ago in both the consumer and professional services sectors.

In consumer services, the balance of more confident businesses stood +5 per cent, however business volumes continued to fall (-12 per cent).

Average selling prices fell slightly (-5 per cent) while total costs per employee increased (+22 per cent), but investment plans strengthened across the board.

In professional and business services, firms were considerably more optimistic about the business outlook than three months ago (+22 per cent), with values (+17 per cent) and volumes (+16 per cent) also rising.

Investment intentions for the next 12 months have strengthened, with all categories now above their long-run averages.

Anna Leach, head of economic analysis at the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), said there are "encouraging signs" in the sector.

This is particularly the case with employers increasing headcount and training expenditure at the fastest pace since November 2007 and investment plans for the year ahead a little better.

“Business and professional services firms are relatively bullish about the coming 12 months and confidence has rebounded sharply, following a surprise pickup in business," Ms Leach stated.

"Consumer services continue to face more challenging conditions: although profits and confidence have stabilised, business volumes continued to shrink this quarter and no material improvement is expected."

Posted by Dan Smith