Business confidence high

The latest quarterly 3i European Enterprise Barometer Index, measuring private companies’ confidence in business, political and economic climates has posted a further rise from the increase reported in Q1 when it was +30. The index is now +49, the highest it has been since Q2 2000 when it was +84.

The index is now more positive in every country surveyed apart from France. Historically, the European Union GDP growth rate, released some months later than the 3i Barometer, has tended to follow the same pattern as the Index. This seems to be a continuing trend.

This increase is driven by a large rise in the balance of companies reporting that the climate is now more favourable to growth by acquisition than starting a new business or expanding existing business activity. This figure is the highest it has been in four years and has doubled since the last survey (from +18 to +36).

Brian Larcombe, 3i’s chief executive said: “On the back of organic growth, business leaders across Europe are now also focusing on building their businesses through acquisitions.”