Monday 7 April 2014
LCCI survey shows London business confidence at all-time high
A survey of London businesses has revealed that they are feeling more confident about the future than ever before - with two thirds (66%) expecting an improvement in their companie's performance over the coming year. Only 4% thought their fortunes would decline. This is the highest level of optimism that the survey, conducted by London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), has ever shown.
Those surveyed in LCCI's Quarterly Economic Survey were even more optimistic about the country's prospects with over three quarters (77%) expecting the UK's economic growth to improve over the next year.
Having declined in the last quarter's survey, the export market is also picking up with a third reporting an increase in export sales. The percentage of companies reporting a rise in domestic sales is at the highest level since before the recession at 35% compared to 14% who saw sales at home fall.
Whilst not as many companies (28%) have taken on staff in the last quarter as in the previous two quarters, only 4% of companies expect to shed staff over the next year, whilst over a third (34%) expect to increase their workforce.
However, finding sufficiently qualified staff is a widespread problem with over half (57%) of companies reporting having experienced difficulties in recruiting for vacancies. Professional managerial (64%) and skilled manual or technical staff (32%) were positions where the most difficulties were experienced, underlining the need to address the skills gap in London's workforce.
Chief Executive of LCCI Colin Stanbridge said: "It is great to see London businesses looking confidently towards the future, feeling positive about not just their own company's prospects but those of the wider economy.
"But we must not overlook the difficulties that our members face in recruiting sufficiently qualified staff as this is a real vulnerability and is holding London back. We were glad to see the Chancellor announce the expansion of apprenticeship grants to employers, which we called for in our budget submission."
The full survey is available here
T: +44 (0)20 7203 1897
M: +44 (0)7827 241528
NOTES TO EDITOR:
- 118 businesses were surveyed between 17 February and 17 March 2014. All sectors of the London Economy were represented including financial and business services (17%), professions (8%), manufacturing and industry (14%), property and construction (8%), transport, logistics and security (8%) retail/wholesale (7%), hospitality, leisure and tourism (7%) communication, technical and creative (11%) and other services (20%).
- London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) is the capital's largest and most representative business organisation, with members ranging in size from multi-national companies to SMEs and sole traders.
- Colin Stanbridge is available for further comment and interview.