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.
Does Darwin's theory apply to taxation? Colin ponders...
The EC has been instructed to draft a European Union (EU) directive authorising an EU financial transaction tax, which would apply to ten of the EU’s 28 member states
Accountancy watchdog the FRC has dropped its investigation into the former chief financial officer of Tesco, nearly two years after the supermarket was engulfed in an accounting scandal
Colin imagines how Apple's logo might change in the wake of the EC's ruling over its Irish tax arrangements