Business confidence in the future of the UK economy is hovering just above the long term trend. The latest Business Trends Report produced by BDO LLP includes the Optimism Index. This predicts growth six months ahead, and is now only just above the average rate at 101.0 (and at its lowest level in over 12 months).
The Output Index – which reflects companies’ actual experience of orders for the coming quarter – is a little higher (at 103.3), but also experiencing something of a downward trend.
The gap between businesses’ relatively strong expectations for the first quarter of 2016 and concerns for the six months ahead points towards expectations of a continuing slowdown in the rate of economic growth this Spring as global economic problems begin to affect UK demand.