Business confidence in East Anglia has risen dramatically in the first half of the year according to a survey.
Companies are more optimistic than at the start of the year, are more likely to invest in staff and machinery, and expect to see greater orders, sale and profits in the second half of the year, The Lloyds TSB Commercial Banking Business in Britain Survey found.
The increase in confidence was seen across all sectors – although firms were less upbeat about exports to the Eurozone.
The survey spoke to nearly 1,800 UK firms. It showed business confidence had increased from 16 to 20 per cent in the East of England, while 46 per cent said their confidence had increased since the beginning of the year.
Over the next six months 49 per cent expect their orders to go up, 54 per cent anticipate sales will increase and 42 per cent believe their profits will rise.
Steve Elsom, area director for Lloyds TSB Commercial in East Anglia said: “There is no doubt that things are certainly looking promising for businesses in East Anglia.
“There has been a 16 point rise in levels of optimism amongst East Anglian firms since the survey was last undertaken in January.
“This is a really encouraging sign and it is important that businesses use this renewed sense of confidence to capitalise on any opportunities for growth that come their way.
“Interestingly, the vast majority of business leaders we spoke to also revealed that they expect profits, orders and sales to rise in the second half of the year, which hints that many East Anglian firms are either already experiencing growth, or are certainly gearing up for it.
“With this positive outlook, we expect to see more firms boosting their investment plans as we move throughout the year.
“East Anglian firms are showing signs that exporting to both Europe and beyond is potentially another area of development.
“Admittedly, firms are taking a very cautious approach and it is apparent that it will still be some time before exporting will be a key driving force behind the East Anglian economy, but an uplift in firms planning on growing their exports in both Europe and the rest of the world has been seen, indicating that progress is certainly being made.
“East Anglia has a thriving business community with some fantastic local firms, and it is important that business leaders continue to seek out new ways to advance and develop.
“There are numerous support networks out there that can provide useful information and guidance on ways to expand business activity and I would urge firms to take advantage of these services and learn more about how they can capitalise on opportunities for growth.”