LONDON, March 22 British businesses are becoming
more willing to invest, offering some support for the economy as
the fall in the value of the pound since the Brexit vote erodes
consumer demand, a Bank of England survey showed on Wednesday.
The report from the BoE's regional agents tallied with
forecasts made by the central bank last month which pointed to
solid growth this year despite last year's Brexit referendum
shock, with stronger business investment and exports expected to
fill much of the gap left by a slowing of retail spending.
"Investment intentions had picked up. That reflected
continued steady demand growth and some reduction in uncertainty
about economic prospects, particularly in the near term," the
BoE said, though it noted uncertainty about Britain's long-run
relations with the European Union hurt some longer-term plans.
Labour cost growth remained subdued, with businesses mostly
offering staff annual pay deals of 2.0-2.5 percent.
(Reporting by David Milliken; Editing by William Schomberg)