Travel among ‘least confident’ sectors

Travel is one of the five least-confident business sectors in the current economic climate, according to a study by Santander Corporate Banking.

Santander’s Business Confidence Index shows travel, financial services and retail as among the least confident sectors in the UK. The hospitality and leisure sector is rather more buoyant, with 89% of businesses confident about their prospects for the remainder of 2009 – compared with a UK national average of 75%.

The Business Confidence Index is based on expectations of consumer spending, turnover and profitability, and it reveals 36% of UK businesses surveyed saw a rise in profits in the first half of the year.

More than 10% of hospitality and leisure firms saw profits rise between 10% and 20% in the six months to June, and 10% a rise of more than 20%.

The Index suggests company turnover is the most important factor in determining business confidence, followed by profitability and the level of consumer spending.

Steve Pateman, head of Santander Corporate Banking in the UK, said: “Despite many sectors experiencing a tough time during the downturn, there are encouraging signs many of them might now be turning a corner. It is important the banking sector supports these businesses and helps them to turn their confidence into profits.”

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