Businesses optimism on a high

Business Trends: BDO

  • UK business optimism reached its highest level for 22 years in January, indicating that the economy will continue to grow rapidly over the coming six months
  • The Optimism Index, which predicts business performance two quarters ahead, reached 103.8 in January, up from 103.4 in December. This is the highest reading ever recorded since readings began 22 years ago and sits well above the 100.0 mark, meaning the UK is expected to outperform its long-term historical growth trend
  • The Employment Index rose to 101.3, up from 99.4 the previous month. The index now stands at its highest level since August 2008 and above the crucial 100.0 mark for the first time since March 2011, signalling that UK job creation is likely to exceed trend growth over the coming months
  • The Inflation Index read 97.9 in January, its lowest level since November 2009 and down from 98.7 at the end of last year.
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Business confidence up

Business Trends: BDO

  • UK business confidence has increased for the tenth consecutive month
  • The Optimism Index, which predicts business performance two quarters ahead, increased from 101.7 in October to a 43-month high of 103.1 in November, taking it comfortably above the 100.0 mark that indicates the UK economy’s long-run average growth rate.
  • The Output Index, which predicts short-run turnover expectations, went up from 100.7 to 101.8 in November
  • The Inflation Index was down from 100.5 in October to 99.7 this month

UK business confidence improving

Business Trends: BDO

  • Business conditions continued to improve in September, as the Output Index increased to 99.5, up from 98.3 the previous month. The last time the index was higher was in July 2010.
  • The Optimism Index reached 100.7 in September, up from 98.0 in August. This level of confidence has not been seen mid-2010
  • Overall inflation expectations for business input prices continued to come down
  • Hiring expectations improved modestly

Indicators looking up

Business Trends: BDO

  • The Optimism Index, which predicts business performance in two quarters time, increased for the eighth consecutive month – from 98.0 in August to 100.7 in September, its highest level since April 2010. The figure has risen beyond the 100.0 mark, the level at which the economy is expected to achieve its long-run average trend growth rate over the coming six months, suggesting that economic growth will pick up speed in the next two quarters.
  • The Output Index, which predicts short-run turnover expectations, also continued its upward trend this month, reaching a 30-month high of 99.5 in September, up from 98.3 in August.
  • The Inflation Index, which predicts short-run business cost inflationary pressures, recorded a fifth consecutive decline to 100.6 in September from 101.0 in August.

Business trends positive

Business Trends: BDO

  • The Output Index climbed to a 26-month high of 96.8 in July up from 94.9 in June – a fifth consecutive monthly increase
  • Output in the services sector, which makes up roughly three quarters of the UK economy, rose from 94.7 in June to 96.5 in July
  • The manufacturing sector rose from 95.7 in June to 98.3 in July
  • The Optimism Index, which predicts business performance in two quarters time, moved up from 94.3 in June to 95.6 in July, posting its sixth consecutive monthly increase and standing at its highest level since April 2012
  • The Employment Index has continued to move upwards, increasing to 97.0 from 96.7 in June
  • The Inflation Index (overall inflation expectations) decreased to 102.2 in July, down from 103.4 in June

Personal Well-being in the UK, 2012/13

Personal Well-being in the UK, 2012/13: ONS

  • According to the latest findings from the ONS Annual Population Survey, there were small improvements in personal well-being in the UK between 2011/12 and 2012/13.
  • The percentage of people reporting higher levels of life satisfaction, feeling that the things they do in life are worthwhile and happiness levels all increased while the percentage reporting higher levels of anxiety declined.
  • Between 2011/12 and 2012/13 the proportion of people rating their life satisfaction as 7 or more out of 10 rose from 75.9% to 77.0%. There was also a reduction in the proportion of people rating their anxiety at a higher level of 6 or more out of 10 falling from 21.8% to 20.9%.
  • The data show differences in personal well-being between groups of the population. For example, people aged 45 to 49 rated their life satisfaction lower than any other age group and Black people lower than any other ethnic group. There were no significant changes between the years for unemployed people whose average life satisfaction remained below those in employment.
  • Other non-official sources show an improvement in personal well-being for similar periods. They also show that life satisfaction in the UK changed less between 2007 and 2011 than other European countries.

Business confidence up to 13-month high

Business Trends: BDO

  • The Optimism Index, which predicts business performance two quarters ahead, moved up for the fifth consecutive month from 93.6 to 94.3, a 13-month high
  • The Output Index, which predicts short-run turnover expectations, increased for the fourth consecutive month to 94.9 in June from 94.4 in May
  • The Inflation Index decreased from 104.2 to 103.4, thus easing financial pressures on UK businesses.