Several surveys released over the last few days show that confidence is improving rapidly among UK businesses, painting a positive picture for the year ahead.
Reports by both Lloyds Banking Group and the EEF employers' organisation have found increasingly strong business confidence with exports, investment and profits all expected to grow over the next few months, with all sectors and size of business seeing an improvement.
In fact, the Lloyds survey found that confidence was running at its highest in some 20 years while EEF's report said that two-fifths of companies were planning to raise investment, and both surveys found that businesses were increasingly positive when it came to export opportunities too.
Meanwhile a third survey, this time conducted by Deloitte, found that business' appetite for risk is definitely returning.
The survey of 122 financial officers found that many companies were expecting to expand and hire more staff during 2014, with easier access to bank lending being the key driver. The report even found that bank borrowing is now the most attractive source of funding for UKbusinesses – the first time this has been the case since the onset of the financial crisis.
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