West Midlands business leaders ‘feeling positive’ despite concerns about the economyFollow @PwC_Birmingham
The majority of business leaders in the West Midlands are confident of achieving business growth this year, despite sharing a lack of confidence about the state of the economy, according to sentiment-based research conducted at a recent PwC Private Equity dinner.
“Talking to business leaders, there was clear evidence of them feeling more buoyant about their own business prospects than about the state of the economy,” said Steve Kentish, private equity leader at PwC in the Midlands.
“This is something that we are finding when talking to Midlands businesses – many feel they are trading well and making a profit despite the economic conditions. However, there is still some cautiousness about making investments,” he added.
Feedback from business leaders at the event indicated that debt remains a concern for private equity-owned businesses and most believe lenders are still reluctant to provide leveraged finance. While acknowledging this lack of funding, some business leaders said they felt ‘more confident’ that deal activity would increase this year than they did six months ago.
The research also revealed that the majority of business leaders believe that the Eurozone debt crisis could force private equity-backed companies to further delay their exit plans.
Steve Kentish, Private Equity leader at PwC in the Midlands, commented:
“In most instances this is already happening but it is significant that investors believe that there is scope to further delay exit plans.
“According to PwC’s latest Economic Outlook report, the UK is expected to report growth of 1.8% in 2013 and it is possible that investors are waiting for a more stable period of growth to return before exiting or refreshing their investment portfolios.”