Plus   Neg

Optimism In U.K. Financial Services Sector At Record High

As the U.K. economic recovery takes root, it is beginning to feed through to the financial services sector, survey data from the Confederation of British Industry and PricewaterhouseCoopers showed Monday.

During three months to December, optimism rose at its fastest rate since the survey began in 1989. About 69 percent of financial services firms said they felt more optimistic about the overall business situation, while 1 percent said they were less optimistic, giving a balance of +68 percent.

Looking ahead to the next quarter, 52 percent of companies expect business volumes to increase, while 2 percent said they will decrease, giving a balance of +50 percent, which was the highest since June 2010.

The survey showed that profitability of firms rose for the fifth consecutive quarter. The profitability index came in at +62 percent, the strongest since March 2011. It is expected to expand further in the coming quarter.

Further, firms increased hiring during the quarter ended December. Around 47 percent of financial services firms said that they had increased employment, while 8 percent said that it had decreased, giving a balance of +39 percent, the highest since March 2007.

They plan to raise hiring in the first quarter of 2014. The CBI estimates that financial services jobs increased by 10,000 in the fourth quarter of 2013 and expect a further rise of 15,000 in the first quarter of 2014.

Financial services companies also plan to increase their capital spending in all areas over the coming twelve months. The survey was conducted between November 18 and December 5.

For comments and feedback contact: editorial@rttnews.com

Economic News

What parts of the world are seeing the best (and worst) economic performances lately? Click here to check out our Econ Scorecard and find out! See up-to-the-moment rankings for the best and worst performers in GDP, unemployment rate, inflation and much more.

Follow RTT