UK firms more optimistic about 2021 after vaccine news – BoE survey

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in London

LONDON (Reuters) – British businesses are more optimistic that their operations will get back to normal in the first half of next year than they were a month ago, following the announcement of new COVID vaccines, a Bank of England survey showed on Thursday.

Firms said they expected sales in the second quarter of 2021 to be 2% below pre-COVID levels, compared with 8% below in the previous survey in October.

For the fourth quarter of this year, businesses expect sales to be 15% below normal, and for staffing levels to be 6% lower than pre-COVID.

The survey of just under 3,000 small, medium and large firms took place from Nov. 6 to Nov. 20.

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