Directors’ confidence reaches highest level since EU referendum, says IOD survey

Directors’ confidence has reached its highest level since the 2016 EU referendum, according to the latest Institute of Directors’ Confidence Tracker.

Natalie Sykes, regional director of the IoD

Directors’ confidence in their own firms also increased to a positive 46 per cent.

The pick-up in confidence was accompanied by a significant increase in leaders’ investment intentions for the year ahead.

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A net balance of 18 per cent expected their investment levels to increase. Hiring expectations also increased slightly, while the bulk of members anticipated higher costs in the 12 months ahead, highlighting that the new Government has its work cut out to support the labour market and to cut firms’ mounting costs, the IoD said.

The current state of the economy remained the top challenge, followed by continued uncertainty around the UK’s future relationship with the EU.

Tej Parikh, chief economist at the Institute of Directors, said: “Britain’s directors will be entering 2020 with a little more festive cheer than might have been expected only a few weeks ago. A firm majority Government means that business leaders, whatever their personal views, now at least have a framework around which they can put in place plans to invest, hire, and expand.”

“There are undoubtedly some exciting stocking-fillers for businesses in the Government’s agenda.”

Natalie Sykes, the regional director of the Institute of Directors, is also encouraging more leaders to take part in the Chartered Director programme, which sets a “gold standard” for director training.

Ms Sykes added: “The drive for ‘good governance’ is moving up the agenda following a string of high-profile business failures. But how about if we spoke about ‘great governance’ instead?

“We believe that better directors build a better world. We continually develop the chartered director qualification to ensure it reflects what boards need to effect this change.

“Our utopia would be to have a chartered director on every board.”

The IoD is a non-party political organisation with around 30,000 members in the United Kingdom and overseas.