Brexit: UK will 'benefit from control of laws' says Frost
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British firms are now much more confident that activity will rebound over the coming months, with expectations of a surge in growth now stronger than any point since 2015. The worldwide poll of 12,000 manufacturers and services providers from February 11-25, conducted three times a year for consultants Accenture by data company IHS Markit, revealed just over two-thirds (68 percent) of British businesses expect activity to increase. Just over one in ten (11 percent) expect this to fall.
But the resulting net balance of 57 percent, which is up significantly from plus 34 percent in October, is the highest level recorded since June 2015.
This was a year before the historic Brexit referendum.
This record level is also higher than the levels recorded in the US, Japan and continental Europe.
Accenture consultant Rachel Barton said: “After a tough year it is encouraging to see business confidence bouncing back.”
The latest findings come with the UK also continuing to rapidly roll out its Covid vaccination programme, with the EU continuing to flounder and come under increasing pressure.
According to the latest figures collated to Our World in Data as of March 14, a total of 25.78 million people in the UK had received a vaccine dose.
This compared to 49.5 million people throughout the entire EU, which is home to 27 member states and has a combined population of 448 million.
These figures are counted as a single dose, and may not equal the total number of people vaccinated.
The latest boosts come with Bank of England (BoE) Governor Andrew Bailey saying he is now “more positive” about the UK’s economic prospects, while also attempting to calm fears over surging inflation.
The BoE boss is confident coronavirus pandemic “habits” including working from home to remain, with people having a “hybrid” lifestyle rather than fully returning to offices.
Mr Bailey also highlighted the huge savings “war chest” built up by consumers who have been unable to spend as much as usual because of resulting Covid lockdowns enforced throughout the country over the last 12 months.
He added this could be a key driver in economic recovery.
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The BoE Governor told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I think we will see things change, because I think some habits and some practices will prove to be sustainable.
“I think there will be for many people more of a hybrid model of working at home and working in a place of work.
“I would be very surprised if we went back to exactly as we were before Covid.”
Commenting on the UK economy, he said: “We now have a more balanced picture of risks.
“The risks on the upside are that there has been a very large build-up in savings in the economy, largely because people have not been able to do the things they normally do.
“The question of course then is: to what use will those savings be put and over what period of time? It could introduce more consumption and more demand into the economy.”
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