A Lloyds Bank Business in Britain report has found this week that business confidence has jumped to an 18-month high, measured against an index of expected sales, orders and profits. The Lloyds Bank report surveyed the views of 1,500 UK companies in May, after the General Election was called.
Meanwhile, the British Chamber of Commerce has slightly upgraded its growth forecast from 1.4% to 1.5% in 2017 as a result of stronger global outlook growth, including in key markets for UK businesses, but maintains that “growth efforts are hampered by skills shortages and poor physical and digital connectivity”. Imports, however, will be boosted as the Pound rises to one-month highs against the Dollar and Euro, approaching $1.30 and €1.14 respectively.
Concerns were raised this week though that the limited growth the UK economy is seeing may not be sustainable, with consumer debt increasing. The Financial Times reports that net unsecured consumer credit increased by £1.7bn over the month, the highest amount since last November and above the six-month average of £1.5bn, however, growth in credit card borrowing did slow to £0.4bn from £0.6bn the previous month.
The construction industry has been shocked by the tragic events of the Grenfell Tower fire in Kensington and Chelsea earlier this month. Here at Building Legacies and East London Business Place we would like to send our deepest condolences to all involved.
Whilst the exact causes for the incident are yet to be discovered, the events could have far reaching consequences for the sector as up to 60 construction companies are set to be questioned by Police as part of their enquiry into the fire. Cladding has been removed from high-rise buildings across the country and it also seems likely that there will be a major overhaul of fire safety and building regulations as a result of the incident.
It has been forecasted that UK employment will fall by 0.1% this year, as the labour market tightens and firms make greater use of existing staff. If you are recruiting then, it is more important than ever to attract the top talent to ensure sustainable growth. Some firms have turned to interesting ways of securing and retaining top talent, with new research finding that some SMMEs gift almost £1,000 of rewards spending across charge, credit and loyalty cards to their employees each year.
For our advice on how to attract and keep the best talent in your industry, read our recent blog post for top tips on attracting talent as an SMME.
If you have any questions or would like further information about the range of support on offer in the Building Legacies Programme, please contact Danny Hackett on firstname.lastname@example.org or call the office on 020 7537 6480.