UK business confidence increases in October, says Lloyds
The Lloyds business barometer index climbed to 37% in October from 24% in September, a post EU referendum high.
Hann-Ju Ho, senior economist at Lloyds bank commercial banking, said: "Our October survey shows a rise in overall confidence and suggests that the economy is on track to grow at a moderate pace in fourth quarter.
"Overall confidence reached its highest level since April driven by significant improvements in both business prospects and economic optimism."
About 39% of businesses, up from 22% the previous month, said they expected their business prospects to improve over the coming year.
There was an increase in positive prospects to 46% from 37% and also a fall in negative prospects to 7% from 15%.
This was similar for economic optimism, which was up to 34% from 26%, the highest since March, due to a decrease in responses that were negative about economic prospects to 13% from 23%.
The share of businesses which expected an improvement in wider economic prospects fell to 47% from 49%.
The increase in overall confidence was reflected in a rise in sentiment to 46% from 14%.
The report comes after positive data released on Thursday by the Office for National Statistics, which showed third quarter gross domestic product grew by 0.5%, ahead of the 0.1% expected by the Bank of England in August. ■