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FDs see positive year ahead

UK finance directors are cautiously optimistic of an increase in profitability and an upswing in business in 2004, according to the latest Accountancy Age/Reed Accountancy Big Question Survey.

Link: ‘Pension safety net’ worries FDs

Nearly 60% of FDs believe that 2004 will see the UK’s economic fortunes take an upward turn and many expect the UK’s economic activity to be closely linked with the US.

‘Hopefully, with the upturn in the US economy, the UK should see a similar position,’ said Dominic Vitorria, FD of C&D Technology. One anonymous finance director commented: ‘It may also help that George W Bush has an election on the way.’

FDs stressed that the upswing may be confined to a few sectors of business.

‘Construction will be slow as the industry is over capacity, but exports should be better. Interest rates are still low which should help investment,’ said John Buckley, finance director of Sauter Automation.

The latest BDO Stoy Hayward economic survey gave similar results. It revealed that the UK economy will grow by 2.3% in the first half of 2004.

The top 10 firm also examined recent business indicators and concluded that confidence in the economy was rising.

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