Business confidence has dropped to a four-year low as economic uncertainty and UK demand are seen as the biggest threats to companies’ fortunes. That’s according to the latest detailed ‘Business in Britain’ report just published by Lloyds Bank.
The report’s confidence index – an average of respondents’ expected sales, orders and profits over the next six months – declined to just 12%, down from the 38% result recorded in January this year.
The most commonly identified threat chosen by companies in the next six months was economic uncertainty (27%) closely followed by weaker UK demand (18%).
Now in its 24th year, the ‘Business in Britain’ report gathers the views of over 1,500 UK companies and tracks the overall ‘balance’ of opinion on a range of important performance and confidence measures, weighing up the percentage of firms that are positive in outlook against those that are negative.
Tim Hinton, managing director for Mid-Markets and SME Banking at the Lloyds Banking Group, commented: “Business confidence has taken a hit since our last report in January, but this should be viewed in the context of the recent economic and political shocks. The EU Referendum vote for Brexit has introduced a level of uncertainty for companies as the UK decides on the best model for its future relationship with the EU, and this is likely to continue for the foreseeable future. While sentiment has fallen to a four-year low, it remains well above the lows reached during the global financial crisis of 2008-2009.”