Even as Confidence Gains, U.K. Economy Will Struggle

Britain’s economy will struggle to gather momentum until the second half of the year even as business sentiment and hiring intentions improve, according to a survey by BDO LLP.

A confidence index rose to 92.2 in March from 90.6 in February and a hiring gauge increased to 96 from 95, the accountancy firm said in a report in London today. Still, its output index, at 93, remains below the 95 level that points to positive growth one quarter ahead. BDO said “robust business conditions will remain elusive.”

Britain’s economy shrank in the fourth quarter and Markit Economics said last week that its industry surveys point to growth of a “mere” 0.1 percent in the three months through March. Industrial production probably rose 0.4 percent in February, reversing just a third of its slump in January, economists said before data due tomorrow.


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