Optimism increases

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Cautious signs of optimism could be appearing in Yorkshire, according to the latest UK Business Confidence Monitor survey by the Institute of Chartered Accountants and accountancy firm Grant Thornton.

Chartered accountants’ regional director, Chris Manners says there are signs that turnover will grow by 4.9 per cent over the next year, while forecast gross profits will increase by 4.7 per cent and sales volumes will rise by 4.5 per cent.

Grant Thornton partner Paul Houghton says key performance indicators remain weak and there are worries domestic and international demand will remain low, while unemployment continues to rise and wages remain static.

Mr Houghton says figures for Yorkshire and Humber are not as bad as anticipated and many companies are predicting at least some growth, but the ability of firms to expand into new areas is becoming a greater challenge than a year ago.