Firms in the North are continuing to feel confident as the economic improvement gains momentum, the latest The ICAEW/Grant Thornton UK Business Confidence Monitor (BCM) has found.
Confidence in the region has been on a general upward trend since the third quarter of 2012 and now stands at +45.5, well above the UK national average of +37.2.
In line with record confidence seen this quarter, companies in the North have also seen the business environment strengthen.
They predict turnover will rise by 5.2% in the next 12 months, having reported growth of 3.9% over the previous year. Increases in sales volumes and gross profits are also expected over the coming year, each by 5.3%, up from the previous year’s growth figures of 3.6% and 4.2%. Keith Proudfoot, ICAEW regional director for Northern England, said: “As we have seen with the recent GDP figures and this quarter’s BCM, the recovery is increasing momentum. As the only UK region that reports a positive balance of trade, against a backdrop of a widening trade deficit, we must continue to push to grow our exports and ensure that the improvement in the UK economy is maintained across all parts of the country.”