Businesses in the West Midlands are regaining some confidence despite concerns over the eurozone crisis and slow UK growth, according to new reasearch.
The latest Business in Britain report from Lloyds TSB Commercial shows that confidence has edged up since January 2012 despite continuing tough economic challenges.
However, firms in the region risk losing out to global competitors if they fail to invest for future development, researchers said after canvassing the views of 146 West Midlands businesses.
The current overall business confidence balance in the West Midlands is 20 – a 12 point increase on the balance of eight recorded since January.
However, while confidence among businesses has improved since January, the majority of businesses in the region are keeping investment on hold.
John Robson, regional director for Lloyds TSB Commercial in the Midlands and North: “It is encouraging, after a tough first half, to see that SMEs are exhibiting a lift in confidence and that they expect to see improved sales and orders over the next six months. Businesses have proved resilient in a tough economic climate and this is exactly what is required to see the UK economy grow. If firms continue to take advantage of profitable opportunities that will maximise their growth potential we have reasons to be hopeful for the future.”
Almost half of businesses (46 per cent) state that their investment will stay the same and only a fifth (21 per cent) plan an increase. Less than a fifth of businesses (16 per cent) believe they will need to cut investment before the end of the year. The resulting balance of five per cent is an improvement on January 2012 but still shows that businesses are cautious about committing to investment spending which could be to the detriment of the West Midlands’ competitiveness.