UK business confidence matches 2008 low in May - Lloyds Bank

LONDON (Reuters) - British business confidence fell to its lowest since the 2008 financial crisis in May, according to a survey for Lloyds Bank which contrasts with other surveys which have shown a small improvement since the initial shock of the coronavirus lockdown. Lloyds said its monthly business barometer dropped to -33, matching the historic low set in December 2008, reflecting reduced optimism about the economy and weaker hiring intentions. 'Despite the results partly capturing the period since the government's announcement of an initial easing of restrictions, trading conditions remain difficult for most firms,' Lloyds economist Hann-Ju Ho said

Reuters May 29, 2020 06:05:31 IST
UK business confidence matches 2008 low in May - Lloyds Bank

UK business confidence matches 2008 low in May  Lloyds Bank

LONDON (Reuters) - British business confidence fell to its lowest since the 2008 financial crisis in May, according to a survey for Lloyds Bank which contrasts with other surveys which have shown a small improvement since the initial shock of the coronavirus lockdown.

Lloyds said its monthly business barometer dropped to -33, matching the historic low set in December 2008, reflecting reduced optimism about the economy and weaker hiring intentions.

"Despite the results partly capturing the period since the government's announcement of an initial easing of restrictions, trading conditions remain difficult for most firms," Lloyds economist Hann-Ju Ho said.

Last week a purchasing managers' index for Britain's services and manufacturing sectors showed a slower pace of decline in May than in April, although Britain's economy is still on course for a contraction of historic proportions.

A separate report from manufacturing trade body Make UK on Friday showed that a quarter of its members planned to make staff redundant over the next six months, as growing numbers expected it to take more than a year for the economy to recover.

Britain's economy went into full lockdown on March 23, but this month the government has been encouraging businesses to return to work, and next month a wider range of retailers will be able to reopen to the public.

Britain's car industry said just 197 vehicles were made across the country in April - the fewest since World War Two - and some big manufacturers such as Nissan do not plan to restart production until next month.

(Reporting by David Milliken)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.