Confidence in service sector soars as vaccine roll-out continues, says BDO

Confidence in the UK’s service sector has soared as the Covid-19 vaccine roll-out continues, according to a major study.

Terry Jones

The gradual lifting of lockdown has pushed BDO’s Optimism Index to a 14-month high, at a time when output in manufacturing is also growing.

BDO’s Services Optimism Index rose by 1.36 points in April from 98.50 to 99.86, which respondents said was due to the lifting of restrictions which have disrupted trading for months.

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This contributed to a rise in the overall BDO Optimism Index for the third consecutive month from 98.31 to 99.85, just below the long-term average level of 100.

Terry Jones, partner and head of BDO LLP in Yorkshire and the North East, said: “The latest figures show that most businesses anticipate the country will continue unlocking as planned.

“As businesses look ahead, the Government’s comments in recent weeks reflected this sentiment, which will have fuelled the rise in optimism as most businesses return to relative normality.”

Mr Jones added: “It’s important to remember that we are still recovering from an incredibly low base. At this time last year, we were at the height of the first lockdown with the vast majority of businesses closed.

“Lingering concern around the impact of Brexit on supply chains means that our recovery might not be as quick as it might have otherwise been, but overall this is much-needed positive news for businesses across the UK’s regions and nations.”