BDO’s latest Business Trends survey shows that UK business confidence has improved, due in large measure to a positive outlook in the service sector.

BDO’s survey gauges optimism about business performance and the economy for the next six months: currently hitting 94.1, the index is currently at its highest in 10 months. The 95 mark indicates growth in the economy.

Confidence in the service sector improved substantially throughout April,  in two indexes: the services output index, which predicts short-run turnover expectations, rose to 94.9 from 93.2; whilst the services optimism index, which predicts business performance two quarters ahead,  increased to 94.1 from 93.2.

The survey also indicated that the outlook for manufacturing is not so bright, however, with the output index for manufacturing falling from 92.4 to 90.8. The optimism index for manufacturing moved up by only 0.1 to 88.

Peter Hemington, BDO partner, said: ‘…as in previous months, our indices reveal a mixed picture.’

‘The manufacturing sector is a particular concern. If it is serious about its plan to rebalance the UK economy, we continue to believe that the government could do more to help UK manufacturing, particularly by encouraging both lending and investment in the sector.’

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