Deloitte says firms aim to expand and create jobs as confidence increases

COMPANIES expect to grow and create more jobs this year after being buoyed by the Bank of England's policies, a North-East business expert has said.

Paul Feechan, a senior partner at Deloitte, in Newcastle, says firms' chief financial officers (CFOs) expect 2014 to be a stronger year, with financial uncertainty waning and revenues expected to increase.

A fourth quarter survey of 122 CFOs, including 32 FTSE and 41 FTSE 250 companies, revealed 70 per cent expect to increase job creation in 2014, with 65 per cent looking to increase capital spending.

It added CFOs believe bank borrowing offers the most attractive source of funding, backed by greater confidence in the Bank of England's policies, with 49 per cent saying Mark Carney's work had instilled greater belief.

Mr Feechan said: “CFOs are entering 2014 in buoyant mood with a focus on expansion, investment and hiring in the year ahead.

“This bodes well for the broad-based recovery policymakers hope to see in 2014.

“Uncertainty and credit shortages, two major blocks on business activity, have eased substantially and CFOs believe that the level of financial and economic risk facing their businesses has reduced significantly in the last year.

“Whether through introducing new products and services or moving into new markets, expansion is firmly back on the agenda.

“CFOs rate bank lending as the most attractive form of finance for their business for the first time since 2008, with a record 80 per cent of CFOs now saying bank credit offers an attractive source of finance.”

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