News

IT leads boom in business confidence

Alex Scroxton

The IT sector is leading a growing confidence among business professionals, figures unveiled by the Institute of Chartered Accountants (ICAEW) reveal.

Published on Friday, the latest ICAEW UK Business Confidence Monitor (BCM) showed a record rise in its confidence among business professionals, with the IT sector the most confident.

The ICAEW's confidence index had gone into positive territory for the first time since Q3 2007, rising from -28.2 to +4.8. Thirteen out of fourteen financial performance indicators detailed by the BCM are now expected to rise.

The Institute forecast a rise in GDP of 0.5% in the current calendar quarter. This will end five consecutive quarters of negative growth.

ICAEW chief executive Michael Izza said the figures clearly suggested the recession is ending.

"While there is no doubt that the UK economy is on its way to recovery, we shouldn't underestimate the challenges ahead for businesses," he said.

Michael Izza pointed out that while many businesses had taken the right steps to protect themselves, and policies such as quantitative easing, interest rate and VAT cuts had helped, the recovery was still fragile and could easily be derailed.

"Although positive growth in the autumn seems more likely, there are concerns about the strength of the recovery," Izza said. "Salaries are expected to remain squeezed and with no planned recruitment there is still an air of nervousness among UK businesses."

When asked, 41% of senior business professionals were more confident about economic prospects facing their business in the next year. However only 6% were much more confident, indicating that caution remains about the strength and timing of the recovery.

A version of this story originally appeared on MicroScope.co.uk


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