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Recession Watch : Business confidence

A number of business confidence surveys over the last few weeks have shown that concerns for the short to medium term appear to be subduing although there is no sign of excess hope for the future. However, the fact that business confidence appears to have "bottomed out" is a significant move at a time when business leader after business leader was stepping forward with very depressing forecasts for the immediate future.

As we have mentioned on a number of occasions, business confidence and consumer confidence are both vital elements of any potential recovery in the UK economy. It was also evident that as the UK economy fell deeper and deeper into recession the forecasts for the future became more and more gloomy. While recent reports of a potential upturn in the UK economy have not yet filtered through to these business confidence surveys, there is no doubt that the gloom is starting to clear and optimism is starting to appear.

It would be dangerous to consider the end of the recession is nigh because we have seen many false dawns over the last 18 months, with many politicians and business leaders being fooled. However, the stronger the uplift in confidence becomes the more chance that we will see a follow-through into the UK economy and a positive impact on business and spending levels.

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