The Institute of Chartered Accountants’ index has revealed that business confidence has surged, boosting hopes that the recession is coming to an end.
The survey, which questioned over 1,000 chartered accountants across England and Wales, showed that business confidence soared from minus 28.2 at the end of March to 4.8 at the end of June - the largest quarterly improvement since the survey commenced in 2003.
According to chief executive, Michael Izza, “This quarter’s Business Confidence Monitor suggests that the UK recession is at an end.”
However, Mr Izza cautions that “while there is no doubt that the UK economy is on its way to recovery, we shouldn’t underestimate the challenges ahead for businesses.”
This was reflected in business prospects for the next 12 months with around 41% of senior professionals more confident about their business prospects, while only 6% were much more confident.
The index revealed that the most optimistic sector was IT, followed by banking, finance and insurance. The organisation said that, in particular, the banking sector showed “a remarkable upturn given the turmoil of the last two years”.
On the downside, however, health and education professionals were least confident due to fears of cut backs within the public sector.
In other news today, Japan’s main Nikkei 225 index was up more than 3% in early trading today boosted by Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke’s comments last Friday.
Mr Bernanke’s comments came at a speech in the annual central bankers’ retreat in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and said the prospects for economic recovery “appear good”.
Global stocks performed well after the Dow Jones index in the US on Friday closed 156 points higher at 9,506 - a 9-month high, while London’s FTSE 100 index climbed 2% to close at 4,850.89. Germany’s Dax index rose 2.8%, while France’s Cac 40 added 3.1%.