Business confidence in the North East rose 15 points during September to 61%, according to the latest Business Barometer from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking.

Firms across the region reported higher confidence in their own business prospects month-on-month, up 20 points at 65%. When taken alongside their optimism in the economy, up eight points to 57%, this gave a headline confidence reading of 61%.

The Business Barometer questions 1,200 businesses monthly and provides early signals about UK economic trends both regionally and nationwide. This month’s survey was conducted before fuel disruption and ongoing supply chain issues tightened their grip.

A net balance of 58% of businesses in the region expect to increase staff levels over the next year, up 24 points on last month.

Overall UK business confidence rose 10 points in September to 46%, with all regions and nations reporting double-digit confidence levels.

All bar three UK regions reported an increase in confidence with Wales (up 27 points to 46%) and Yorkshire and Humber (up 22 points to 48%) reporting the biggest jumps. Firms in the North West (down 17 points to 47%) and East of England (down nine points to 30%) reported falls in confidence but both remained comfortably in positive territory. Businesses in the South East reported no change month on month at 32%.

Steve Harris, regional director for the North East at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “September has seen firms across the North East hit by significant supply chain issues, fuel disruption and staff shortages, and businesses have had to be resilient."


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