BUSINESS confidence rose during January on the back of an increase in economic optimism.

Companies in the Yorkshire and the Humber are reporting more confidence in their own prospects at 10 per cent and the economy at 21 per cent, according to the latest business barometer from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking.

It also shows that three per cent of businesses in the region expect to hire more staff during the next year, down one point on last month.

The barometer questions 1,200 businesses monthly and provides early signals about UK economic trends.

Kelly Green, regional director for Yorkshire and the Humber at Lloyds, said: “The decisive general election result has no doubt lifted some of the uncertainty businesses have faced in the last two years, with Yorkshire firms’ rising economic optimism following the national trend.

"We’d expect to see this reflected in their hiring plans in the coming months.

“Looking ahead to the budget now announced for March 11, businesses will be expecting clarity from the Chancellor over the future of rail transport in the region.

"The prospect of improved connectivity should help to buoy businesses’ confidence even further.

“We’ll be by the side of Yorkshire businesses whatever happens, and we anticipate to lend up to £1.4 billion to the region’s firms as they access finance to grow this year.”