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The Chancellor, George Osborne has warned that Britain faces a “year of hard truths” ahead. Acknowledging that the deficit has been cut by a third, Mr Osborne highlighted the fact that the job of repairing public finances will go on for many years to come with further cuts being required after the next election.
On a more positive note, business confidence in the service sector has risen to 73.5, the highest seen since March 2010. Although the Markit service sector index slipped slightly in December from 60 to 58.8, with any figure above 50 denoting growth this is still good news. With the overall Markit index also showing positive growth at 59.5 and a Lloyds survey indicating that overall business confidence is at its highest in 20 years, there is good reason to be optimistic in 2014.
But this doesn’t mean that businesses should be complacent. Consumers are somewhat battle scarred after the past few years and will be looking for good value allied to outstanding service from their chosen providers. Businesses need to gear up now, if they haven’t already done so with a realistic and tough look at their service provision and offering. The businesses which succeed in 2014 will be the ones which actively provide innovative solutions and an exceptional level of customer service.