Whilst everyone in the tax world is waiting for the next budget and Alistair Darling is finally admitting what we all thought – that he has underestimated the recession – there are some pale green shoots of optimism. BDO Stoy Hayward’s latest ‘Business Trends Survey’ shows that the survey’s short term confidence measure based on order book strength and turnover expectations, rose 2.3 points to 88.6 in February – which was a second consecutive monthly increase. Meanwhile Lloyds TSB corporate markets survey also showed improved confidence in some areas of business performance.
At Georgiana Head Recruitment we are also seeing some tentative signs of increased business confidence particularly amongst the independent accountancy firms some of whom are seeing the recession as an opportunity to snatch some of the ‘best and brightest’ talent from some of the larger accountancy firms.
Even the property market is showing some small signs of improvement as Georgiana says; ‘Yup, I’ve been outbid on yet another property! We thought this time would be third time lucky and offered £20,000 over the asking price – but it has gone for £40,000 over. So in West Yorkshire at least properties are selling. Talking to clients and candidates we are seeing people who have newly placed properties on the market are finding that they are selling quickly and those that have been on for over a year are finding a sudden upturn in viewings. I wouldn’t say this is the most scientific housing survey – but its interesting what we are finding. One client mentioned that in Devon 13 houses were bought by one London investor alone because he felt he would get a better return from renting them out than having his money in the bank. One large house in Devon had 300 viewings in a week before it was due to be auctioned this week, properties newly on in Ilkley seem to be selling within a week if marketed at the right price.’