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Company bosses have turned optimistic about the future prospects of their businesses for the first time since the pandemic began, as the economic recovery takes hold and more workers return to the office, albeit slower than the Government had hoped. Confidence among executives understandably plunged during the coronavirus outbreak and the subsequent lockdown that placed large parts of the economy on ice. But almost 40pc of those surveyed by the Institute of Directors said they are optimistic or very optimistic on their organisation's future over the next year. This easily outweighs the 28pc who are pessimistic. The remaining one third said they were neutral on the question. When asked about the wider economy, the majority said they are pessimistic, though the depth of their gloom has lessened in recent months as the reopening has picked up pace. "We're just starting to see a few green shoots, but firms are still in a great deal of difficulty," said Tej Parikh, the business group's chief economist. "Lockdown lifting has given companies some room to manoeuvre, but with the virus still in circulation, there will be a lid on the economic recovery.

MNI London Bureau | +44 0203-865-3809 | anthony.barton@marketnews.com
MNI London Bureau | +44 0203-865-3809 | anthony.barton@marketnews.com