Business optimism is on the rise

But with two weeks to go before the election results is it too soon?

Inflation fell back to its target level of 2% this month for the first time in nearly three years.

May’s insolvency figures also showed a welcome decline with a decrease of 6% in May although economic growth remained flat in April.

Nevertheless small businesses have seen an increase in profits by 6.5% in the first quarter, despite a decline in revenues and banks’ lending to UK small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) has seen its first notable rise in almost two years, with gross SME lending rising 15% in Q1 2024.

British manufacturers’ confidence is at its highest level in a decade, with businesses seeing “concrete signs” of an economic turnaround. According to a survey by Make UK, both output and orders have improved, leading to a level 7 confidence rating on a scale of 1 to 10.

Make UK is expecting manufacturing to grow by 1.2% in 2024, beating GDP growth of 0.9% for the year.

According to reports, Britain’s largest manufacturers are expecting orders and output to increase dramatically in the second half of the year, despite a “chronic” shortage of skilled workers.

James Brougham, a senior economist at Make UK, said: “The next government must capitalise on this scenario by delivering a modern, long-term industrial strategy which goes beyond the 2030s and has cross-government support.”

It will be a while before the effects and outcomes of the election will filter through to business but perhaps at last there are signs that the UK economy is getting better.

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