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Business confidence soars ahead of the “Bonus” Budget

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Business confidence rose 15 points to a record 119.4 in the second quarter of 2015 according to Smith & Williamson’s Enterprise Index. 

The result of the General Election, delivering a majority government, left businesses with the stability they craved. 

More than 80 per cent of the 200+ business leaders who took part in the established quarterly survey expect the economy to improve over the next 12 months. 70 per cent of participants believe George Osborne’s March Budget statement was good for business, so they have reason to be hopeful that policy will stay on track in his upcoming July announcement.

Eighty per cent of respondents believed that the previous coalition government was supportive of private enterprise and so were concerned about the effect an unclear election result may have had on growth. Following the Conservative victory, 87 per cent are optimistic about their own prospects over the coming year, with 83 per cent planning growth or an acquisition over that time frame.

Businesses fear EU exit

There were nonetheless some concerns expressed as the first majority Conservative government for 18 years brought with it the promise of a referendum on the UK’s membership with the EU. Over 68 per cent of those surveyed believe that the so-called ‘Brexit’ would negatively impact British businesses.

As 66 per cent of participants are expecting the financial health of their trading partners to improve and with the EU forming the largest destination for the export of UK goods, a potential Brexit will become an even more pressing issue as we approach the referendum.

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