UK Businesses Experience Rise in Confidence, But Cost of Living Drains Sales


Business confidence in the United Kingdom rose in the first quarter of 2023 as political instability and inflationary pressures eased. But while sentiment has improved, this has yet to translate into higher sales. According to a survey by the British Chambers of Commerce, 34% of firms reported an increase in sales, while 47% in the hospitality industry experienced a cash flow drop.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt attempted to spur business investment by offering a three-year tax break to companies who purchase qualifying plant and machinery equipment in his budget. The BCC research showed that 75% of respondents either kept their investment fixed or reduced it during this period. The organization’s director general, Shevaun Haviland, believes that these policies are not enough to create a significant improvement in economic growth. She also noted that the government’s new energy support package is much weaker than the aid given to businesses under Rishi Sunak’s “super deduction” policy.

The person mentioned in the article is the British Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt. He is the Member of Parliament for South West Surrey and Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs since 2019. Hunt has been a member of the Conservative Party since 2005 and was also the Health Secretary from 2012 to 2018. In his current role, he is responsible for Britain’s foreign policy and bi-lateral relations with other countries. He also oversees the operation of British diplomatic missions around the world and is leading financial aid initiatives during the Covid-19 crisis.

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) is the UK’s leading business network. It is an independent, non-profit organization working to unite over 13 million UK businesses. By providing practical services and credible information, they aim to enable companies to achieve sustainable growth. The BCC provides services such as legal advice and tax knowledge to help businesses maximise their potential. They are currently lobbying the government on issues such as energy costs, skill shortages, Brexit, financing and money laundering regulations. The BCC is a key voice in the UK business community and a respected international force.