UK firms fight oil price sorrow


Rising oil prices are fuelling a lack of business confidence but British firms still believe in their own success, research by Lloyds TSB has revealed.

Its monthly Business Barometer has shown top companies remain upbeat despite confidence in the wider economy falling again in June.

"Month on month business confidence in the economy is waning, but so far these worries have not shaken the faith most firms have in their own trading prospects," noted chief economist, Trevor Williams.

"So far retail figures have held up rather better than most surveys have predicted, but as the pressure builds on consumer spending, sales may well start to slow."

According to its survey of more than 200 companies, the balance of firms who think their business activity will rise over the next year increased by eight per cent in June, to 32 per cent.