British business confidence has hit a new record high in Deloitte’s quarterly polling of financial directors. It’s the highest optimism they have recorded in the poll’s 13-year history.
As non-essential retailers open their doors today after months of lockdown, Britain’s successful vaccination programme has provided businesses with clarity on where the country is going post-pandemic. Following a turbulent year with Britain facing its worst economic contraction since its founding, 2021 could see a remarkable rebound.
In fact, the vaccination programme has been such a success that cases continue to plummet whereas in mainland Europe in countries like France and Germany, hospitals remain saturated. In France, more than 40,000 new cases are being reported daily of which nearly 6,000 are in intensive care. This compares to just 2000 cases per day in Britain over the last week.
Although the UK is far from resolving the pandemic, and numbers could soon rise again, Britain’s ability to forge a path out of the pandemic has helped the business sector prepare for the ‘irreversible lockdown’ which the Prime Minister has promised to the country.
The news is good for retailers, pubs and non-essential shops that for the first time today can start to serve customers again. And it gets better, as Britain’s GDP growth is set to outpace the EU and the US this year thanks to the speed of its home vaccination programme – the largest mass vaccination of the UK in its history.
With Brexit headaches also fading, trade between the UK and France in February returned to pre-Brexit levels, with minimal disruption at ports, and Britain forging ahead with new trade agreements around the world.
Britain is also close to agreeing a new trade deal with New Zealand, as it continues talks with close friends and allies including Canada, Australia and the United States, to create new economic opportunities.