Nearly half of London’s businesses expect the capital’s economic prospects to improve over the next twelve months compared to only one in the five that thought so at the end of 2020, according to the survey for the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
The 48 per cent of firms who told polling company Savanta ComRes they are optimistic for London’s economic future is the highest figure since 2016, the year of the EU referendum.
The findings form part of the LCCI’s quarterly Capital 500 survey – to be published in full tomorrow – and are attributed to the success of the vaccine roll out in the first half of this year and the loosening of lockdown restrictions.
The survey, conducted between 28 April and 6 June with responses from leaders of 520 London businesses of different sizes and types, will also show that the proportion of businesses reporting an increase in cashflow in the second quarter of this year doubled to 25 per cent compared with the previous one and that although a third said their cashflow was down, half had done so in relation to the first quarter.
Companies reporting an increase in domestic orders has risen to 18 per cent from 10 per cent and those reporting an increase in domestic sales was up to 19 per cent from 15 per cent. Again, the numbers reporting falls in orders and sales were greater than those reporting increases, but were smaller than in the first quarter.
Only 15 per cent of business leaders surveyed said they were employing fewer people, compared with 28 percent in the previous quarter, and just five per cent said they expect their workforce numbers to decline over the next year while 14 per cent expect it to increase.
LCCI chief executive Richard Burge said: “It’s clear that the easing of Covid restrictions and the hope brought about by the NHS vaccination roll-out has given a boost to business confidence that outpaces London’s economic performance. But the data shows economically we have a long road ahead of us.”
He added: “Government must ensure that our border and test-and-trace systems can keep our economy safely open domestically, whilst helping to recover tourism, business travel and international trade. We will then begin to see an economic indicator boom in keeping with the optimism that our resilient businesses have in the capital’s prospects.”
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