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CBI: London firms increasingly positive on economy

POSTED: 2nd June 2014
IN: Business news
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London firms are becoming increasingly positive about economic prospects, but still have some concerns about issues such as the housing situation in the city, according to recent research from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and KPMG. A

London firms are becoming increasingly positive about economic prospects, but still have some concerns about issues such as the housing situation in the city, according to recent research from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and KPMG.undefined

A quarterly survey of 154 corporate leaders in the capital found that optimism about the economy has reached its highest level since the end of 2010.

Seven out of ten (70 per cent) businesses were found to be more confident about prospects for the economy in the next six months, 44 per cent higher than last year.

Just over half (51 per cent) of respondents were positive about the future of their own organisation, a proportion that has now been consistent for ten months.

Other findings showed that more than half (56 per cent) of London firms are continuing to increase staff numbers, with less than a fifth (18 per cent) freezing recruitment.

The positive outlook on jobs was also underlined by the fact that the proportion of companies hiring only where essential fell from 70 per cent last year to 59 per cent in the latest survey.

However, the research also indicated that housing is a concern for some businesses, with 83 per cent of respondents saying there is a shortage of good-quality affordable homes in the capital.

Sara Parker, CBI director for London, welcomed the fact that businesses are feeling more optimistic, taking on new employees and planning to expand.

On the housing issue, Ms Parker called for action to facilitate property construction in the city.

"The mayor must focus urgently on freeing up land for residential building, accelerating the planning process and building many more homes," she said.

Organisations including the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors have forecast that the lack of new properties coming onto the market will contribute to further price growth in the near future.

KPMG and Shelter have urged the government to launch a house-building programme to stop inflation reaching an unsustainable level.

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