London businesses most pessimistic for future economic prospects

90% of companies in North West, North East, Midlands and Scotland have a positive economic outlook

Businesses in the capital are significantly less confident about the future of the economy compared to the rest of the UK, according to market research firm B2B International.

Though the economic gap between London and the rest of the UK continues to widen, more than 90% of businesses in the North West, North East, the Midlands and Scotland are optimistic about their economic outlook – with one in five very optimistic.

By sector, manufacturing shows the highest commercial confidence with 90% of respondents expressing optimism and one in three very optimistic, whereas the finance and economic sector is the most pessimistic with one in five displaying a lack of confidence.

Companies who saw a 5% or higher decrease in revenue in the past two years were in fact considerably more likely to be positive about their commercial future.

Paul Hague, B2B International director, said: “With the capital’s economy set to expand by 15% over the next five years, faster than any other region and accounting for almost a third of total UK growth over the period, the low business confidence here is surprising.

“We can explain the difference by understanding that companies that have struggled to grow in the economic downturn are more likely to be confident with the onset of recovery.

“Unlike many Northern regions, London’s economy has continued to prosper, and in turn companies here may be more reserved about their outlook, particularly with Eurozone growth grinding to a halt and the question mark over the UK’s EU membership.

“Although British manufacturers have reported worse-than-expected growth in production and new orders for December 2014, the sector has continued an unbroken run of expansion which started in spring 2013 despite the Eurozone struggling – the biggest market for UK exports.”

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