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Business confidence in economy 'stabilised' in May

02 Jun 2023

Confidence in the UK economy amongst businesses 'stabilised' to just below neutral in May, according to a survey carried out by the Institute of Directors (IoD).

The IoD's Directors' Economic Confidence Index stabilised at -6 in May. The Index measures business leader optimism in regard to prospects for the UK economy.

39% of those polled reported feeling pessimistic about UK economic prospects, whilst 33% stated they feel optimistic. The most common concerns for trading included adverse economic conditions, skills shortages and the cost of energy. These proved to be the same concerns as the last time firms were quizzed in February.

Commenting on the findings, Kitty Ussher, Chief Economist at the IoD, said: 'Confidence improved in the first few months of the year as business leaders began to believe that the outlook for the UK economy, although difficult, was not as bad as they had previously been led to believe. Our confidence index is now stabilising at a just below neutral stance, similar to that recorded before the invasion of Ukraine.

'Although investment intentions are picking up and our members are broadly planning for growth, it will take a greater sense that the worst is behind us before confidence really starts to lift.'

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Registered in England, Company Registration number – 7906656. Registered Office – 58b High Street, Stony Stratford, Milton Keynes, MK11 1AQ. Registered with the Chartered Institute of Taxation as a firm of Chartered Tax Advisers. Registered to carry out audit work and regulated for a range of investment business activities by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.