UK firms more upbeat on hiring, investment after Brexit delay - survey

The Canary Wharf financial district is seen from Greenwich Park in London

LONDON (Reuters) - Employers in Britain have turned more confident about hiring and investing after the extension to the Brexit deadline which has also reduced their worries about the outlook for the economy, a recruiters' group said on Wednesday.

The Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) said its Jobs Outlook survey showed an increase of four percentage points in confidence about hiring and investment decisions which returned to positive territory at +1.

"Today's survey shows that businesses believe in their own prospects and are ready to grow if the pall of economic uncertainty is removed," Neil Carberry, Chief Executive of REC, said in a statement.

Confidence in Britain's economy improved but remained negative at -26. Hiring intentions for temporary agency workers continued to rise.

Carberry said the contrast between employers' views of their own prospects and those for the wider economy underscored the stakes of Britain's Brexit impasse.

Both the candidates to replace Prime Minister Theresa May - former foreign minister Boris Johnson and the current incumbent Jeremy Hunt - have said they are prepared to take Britain out of the European Union without a transition deal if necessary.

The latest deadline for Brexit is Oct. 31.

"Resolving this will require cool heads through the summer and autumn, so that companies can rely on a smooth and stable new relationship with the EU - not the chaos of a no-deal exit," Carberry said.

The REC survey was based on responses from 610 employers and was conducted between March 1 and May 28.


(Reporting by Katya Sanigar; Editing by William Schomberg)