The Optimism Index increased by 1.7 points this month following its 21-year low reading in January. The Index increased to 90.6 in February from a reading of 88.9 in January – the biggest increase in the index for five months.
Despite this increase, businesses still do not anticipate growth in the next two quarters
The Inflation Index increased from 100.4 in January to 101.5 in February, its highest level since September 2012.
The Output Index saw a decrease from 92.3 last month to 92.1 this month
Small firms’ confidence levels tumbled 5.8 points to -4.5 in the third quarter – the fourth lowest score since the start of 2010
21.6 per cent of respondents had applied for finance – down one percentage point on Q2. However, the number of refusals increased from 40.6 in Q2 to 42.4 in Q3. And almost two thirds of members think the availability of credit is poor
More than 60 per cent of firms also think that finance is unaffordable
Across the UK, 10 in 12 regions saw a decline in confidence – only London and the east Midlands saw an increase
Fifteen of the 18 sectors surveyed were more confident than in Q2. Business services sector and small manufacturers continue to perform well, but for those that rely on discretionary spending, confidence fell resulting in the overall negative reading
For a 10th consecutive quarter firms reported a fall in revenues
BDO’s Optimism Index, which predicts business performance two quarters ahead, suggests the economy will continue to contract at the start of 2013. The index fell to 89.1 in August from 93.1 in July. This is the sixth consecutive month that the data has registered a drop, with a four-point plunge from 93.1 in July. Business confidence is now at its lowest level since the Business Trends indices began in 1992, and significantly below the crucial 95 mark which would indicate a return to growth.
BDO’s Output Index – which predicts short-run turnover expectations – has also fallen sharply, from to 90.8 in August from 93.9 in July, reaching its lowest point for 40 months.
BDO’s Employment Index fell to 92.1 in August
Conditions for UK job seekers are unlikely to improve before the end of the year