Business confidence is building
Fragile, uncertain and with a hint of potential property bubble it may be, but there does seem to be something building in the realm of business confidence in the economy and what the future might hold. We are seeing a noticeable increase in the numbers of clients talking to us about doing something (buying or selling businesses) since the beginning of the year. And from our discussions with other advisers in our part of the world, our experience does not seem to be unique. True, there is ‘many a slip between cup and lip’ as they say, and ‘one swallow doesn’t make a summer’ – yet the fact remains that if there is to be an increase in transactional activity ( one of the more obvious barometers of business sector confidence) this must surely be preceded by quite a bit of talk and discussion about whether or not to do something; and we are seeing quite a bit of talk and discussion and have been for some months now.
Is this a ‘good summer’ effect? Well, I don’t discount the influence of the seasons entirely on human emotions; but there seems more to it than this. And this also seems to be a pattern replicated in other parts of the country. We are members of a national alliance of independent regional accountancy practices and all of them are reporting a similar sense that confidence is building and that maybe, just maybe, it might actually develop a degree of momentum.
So, will 2014 be ‘the year of recovery’- well, that rather depends upon what you mean by ‘recovery’; but if your definition of recovery would include ideas and concepts such as ‘gradual’, ‘incremental’, ‘steady’ and ‘cautious’ then I think that the omens are looking a lot more favourable than they have done for quite some time.
Now. whether such a recovery is because of or in spite of Coalition policies since 2010 – well, that is quite a different question…