Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Business: confidence rises sharply

We are either on the brink of Armageddon or, according to Deloitte, as reported by the Financial Times, business confidence among finance chiefs of the UK’s biggest companies has risen sharply. Worries about economic and financial uncertainty have dropped to their lowest level for two-and-a-half-years.

This is on the basis of a survey of 120 chief financial officers during March, including 26 from the FTSE 100 and 44 from the mid-cap FTSE 250. Optimism about their companies' financial prospects improved for the third consecutive quarter, but remains below its level of a year ago.

Furthermore, despite the bailout of Cypriot banks last month, we are told that finance chiefs are more confident that the eurozone will hold together. They believe there is just an 18 percent chance that the euro will break up in the next 12 months, half the level seen last spring. 

So, either corporate Britain is in its own fantasy world, and cannot see the yawning chasm that threatens to engulf us; they are so insulated from the rest of the world, that real-life concerns no longer affect them; or the doomsayers have got it wrong. Everything in the garden is rosy, we are happy, happy, happy, and the sunlit uplands beckon.