ICAEW.com works better with JavaScript enabled.

Business confidence in the East of England continues on its upward trend

Business confidence in the East of England has been on a rising trend since 2017, and remains in positive territory at +8.4, as the UK average slips to -0.2, according to the latest ICAEW Business Confidence Monitor™ (BCM). This continued positivity in the region is likely down to businesses experiencing strong growth in exports and domestic sales and therefore an increase in profits.

Market conditions:

  • Exports have seen a rise of 4.6% and domestic sales have grown by 4.7%
  • Improving sales are helping to support profits, which are growing by 4.3% year on year
  • 67% of businesses cite growing concerns over regulatory requirements

Outlook for 2018

  • Research & Development growth is expected to slow, from 2.6% to 2.0% in the next 12 months
  • Sales growth is expected to rise by 4.3%, and profits by 5.5%

Harpreet Panesar, ICAEW East of England Director said:

“As business confidence falls across the UK, it is promising to see that the East of England remains in positive territory. However, this positivity is not reflected in investment plans. This is a worrying trend as it is important for companies in the region to reinvest profits into Research & Development, capital investment and staff development.”

Notes to editors:

1. There are over 1.7m chartered accountants around the world - talented, ethical and committed professionals who use their expertise to ensure we have a successful and sustainable future.

Over 150,000 of these are ICAEW Chartered Accountants. We train, develop and support each one of them so that they have the knowledge and values to help build local and global economies that are sustainable, accountable and fair.  

We’ve been at the heart of the accountancy profession since we were founded in 1880 to ensure trust in business. We share our knowledge and insight with governments, regulators and business leaders worldwide as we believe accountancy is a force for positive economic change across the world.

2. ICAEW is a founder member of Chartered Accountants Worldwide and the Global Accounting Alliance.

3. The Business Confidence Monitor (BCM) survey began 2003.

4. 1,000 Chartered Accountants responded to a telephone survey from 21 October 2017 to 19 January 2018. Businesses were categorised in terms of size (no. of employees), region and industry sector. Regional classification used was ONS Government Office Regions.

6. The BCM survey covers over 1% of economic activity both for the UK as a whole and for different UK regions. This assures our data captures accurately the mood of UK senior business professionals.

7. Business Confidence Index methodology – The Business Confidence Index is calculated from the responses to the following:

“Overall, how would you describe your confidence in the economic prospects facing your business over the next 12 months, compared to the previous 12 months?” 
A score was applied to each response as shown below, and an average score calculated:



Much more confident


Slightly more confident


As confident


Slightly less confident


Much less confident


Using this method, a Confidence Index of +100 would indicate that all survey respondents were much more confident about future prospects, while -100 would indicate that all survey respondents were much less confident about future prospects.

8. Oxford Economics one of the world’s foremost advisory firms, providing analysis on 200 countries, 100 industries and 3,000 cities. Their analytical tools provide an unparalleled ability to forecast economic trends and their economic, social and business impact. Headquartered in Oxford, England, with regional centres in London, New York, and Singapore and offices around the world, they employ one of the world’s largest teams of macroeconomists and thought leadership specialists. 


Media enquiries

Please direct all media inquiries related to this article to:

Emily Parker - Media Relations Executive
Tel: +44 (0)20 7920 8703 or +44 (0)7866 853841
Email: emily.parker@icaew.com