BUSINESS confidence in the region has risen as companies look forward to economic recovery over the next 12 months following the successful vaccine rollout, a quarterly survey has found.

According to the latest report for Yorkshire and the Humber from the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, businesses are forecasting seven per cent growth in domestic sales over the next year – and a 3.1 per cent rise in exports.

Two-fifths of businesses surveyed said customer demand was a concern, but job levels remained relatively stable – with protection from the furlough scheme – and were predicted to improve.

There was a one per cent increase in capital spending.

Dr James Callaghan, the institute’s regional director for Yorkshire and the Humber, said: “Businesses have told us they are very optimistic for the next 12 months and if the predicted domestic sales increase of seven per cent is achieved, it will be the highest rate since we began our quarterly survey in 2004.

“Nevertheless, companies in the region face challenges from regulatory requirements, transport problems and customer demand.”