BUSINESS confidence in the South East fell during February.

That’s according to the latest Business Barometer from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking.

Companies’ expectations of future business activity have fallen since last month, when a balance of 32 per cent anticipated an increase.

When combined with their views on the economy overall, this gives an overall confidence figure of zero per cent.

The Business Barometer questions 1,200 businesses monthly and provides early signals about UK economic trends both regionally and nationwide.

Phil Kirk, regional director for the South East at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “It’s disappointing to see confidence across the South East take a hit this month after a promising start to the year last month.

“The South East is home to some of the most impressive and innovative businesses in the country, and while some are economic headwinds, it’s important to remember there is help at hand.

“We remain by their side of businesses in the region and are lending up to £3.6 billion to them this year as part of our commitment to help Britain prosper.”

Hann-Ju Ho, senior economist for Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “Political uncertainty has clearly affected business confidence across the UK, but the underlying economy remains resilient and is able to absorb short-term volatility.

“The modest rise in optimism at the start of the year was no more than a blip as uncertainty continues.”