U.K. Economic Optimism Hits Highest Since 2016 as Lockdown Eases

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U.K. firms are more upbeat about the economy than at any time since 2016, buoyed by a further easing of coronavirus restrictions in May, according to a survey published Friday.

A gauge of optimism rose five percentage points to 37 this month, a level last reached before the Brexit referendum, the Lloyds Bank Business Barometer shows. Overall business confidence climbed to a three-year high of 33. It increased across all sectors and in eight of the U.K.’s 12 regions and nations.

“While we need to wait and see how the months ahead will unfold, the recent surge in positive outlook is an encouraging sign that firms are emerging from the Covid-19 crisis with renewed resilience and vigor,” said Lloyds Bank senior economist Hann-Ju Ho.

U.K. Economic Optimism Hits Highest Since 2016 as Lockdown Eases

The findings add to signs that the economy is rebounding more robustly than expected from its deepest slump in 300 years. Reopening sectors are benefiting from pent-up demand and savings built up during months of lockdown, putting the U.K. on course for the strongest growth in decades.

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