UK business confidence dropped to -33 percent in May, which is its lowest level since the 2008 financial crisis, as the economic shutdown continues amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to a survey for Lloyds Bank conducted from May 1-18 and published on Friday
MOSCOW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 29th May, 2020) UK business confidence dropped to -33 percent in May, which is its lowest level since the 2008 financial crisis, as the economic shutdown continues amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to a survey for Lloyds Bank conducted from May 1-18 and published on Friday.
"Overall business confidence fell in May by a further percentage point to -33%, according to the Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking Business Barometer, sitting at the all-time lowest level recorded in December 2008 during the global financial crisis. The decline illustrates that little has changed in terms of sentiment for UK businesses, following the sharp fall in confidence seen last month," the survey found, adding that the retail, manufacturing and services sectors saw slight increases in confidence, while the construction sector fell sharply by 24 percentage points to -44 percent.
According to the findings, economic optimism amid the crisis triggered by the pandemic fell by three percentage points to -42 percent, marking the lowest level since January 2009, while current trading prospects remained unchanged at a record low of -25 percent the lowest figure since the survey began in 2002.
The Lloyds Bank Business Barometer also showed that despite the relaxation of coronavirus-related restrictions, the firms' assessment of their own hiring intentions dropped by 12 percentage points to a nine-year low of -29 percent.
"Only 15% of businesses expect to increase employment, down from 20% in April and those anticipating a reduction in the next twelve months stood at a record 44%. In addition, businesses that are anticipating a pay freeze increased to 38% from 34% in April, resulting in an average response rate by companies of 16% in the first three months of the year," the survey established.
In addition, 68 percent of businesses, down from 74 percent in April, stated a negative impact of the coronavirus, while 10 percent said they were benefiting from the pandemic or saw no change from last month, the survey added.
Though economic decline continued across the UK in May, now, six out of 12 regions reported higher confidence compared to April, with the North East being the least negative region confidence stands at -20 percent. The South West was the most negative region, with business confidence at -51 percent, and was followed by the South East at -45 percent.