Sunak handed an election boost as business confidence hits an eight year high

The Tories were handed a boost last night after data showed business confidence hit an eight-year high this month as bosses believe the economy has turned a corner.

Figures from the Lloyds Bank business barometer – a closely-watched survey of confidence – show signs of economic green shoots.

It comes as Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Chancellor Jeremy Hunt hope to convince the public they can steer the economy to brighter days.

Confidence rose eight points – to 50 per cent – a level last surpassed in November 2015.

Lloyds said this was mostly because businesses were feeling better about their trading prospects and the economy.

Recovery: Fresh figures from the Lloyds Bank Business Barometer – a closely-watched survey of employee’s confidence – shows signs of economic green shoots

Optimism about the economy increased to 46 per cent, the highest since September 2021.

Hann-Ju Ho, senior economist at Lloyds commercial banking, said: ‘These results highlight a notable improvement. 

Across the sectors, there were strong, broad-based improvements in services and construction.’

It comes as the Office for National Statistics said cost increases for UK households slowed in the last quarter. 

Household costs rose 4.4- per cent, a slower rate compared to the annual rate of 5.3 per cent in January 2024.