IT leads the way as business confidence grows

Link: Business confidence at six-year high

The days of IT doom and gloom after the dot-com bubble burst appeared a distant memory, as the sector indicated record levels of enthusiasm for the future.

But the Business Confidence Monitor, conducted by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) and Alliance & Leicester, also found that the retail sector was showing signs of worry.

On the survey’s confidence scale, which ranges from -100 to +100, IT set a new high water mark of +48.2, followed by business and property services (30.2), energy and extractive industries (29.3) and manufacturing and engineering (23.4).

By contrast, retail scored just +9, although this was attributed to a ‘higher base’ due to strong performance in recent times.

Eric Anstee, chief executive of the institute, said: ‘At last we are seeing a shift away from the two-speed economy and increasing opportunities for businesses across the board.’

But he warned that, with growth in capital investments expected to remain low, the high-running confidence of business-to-business firms could be dealt a blow.

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