The UK economy was already showing signs of slowing down ahead of the European Union Referendum. That’s according to the latest Business Trends Report by accountant and business advisory concern BDO LLP. Worryingly, this month’s bulletin reveals that the rising uncertainty ahead of Brexit dragged business output and business optimism to three-year lows for the second month running.
Business output – which reflects companies’ experience of orders for the three months ahead – now sits at 99.0, whereas business optimism (which predicts growth six months ahead) fell to 98.9. UK manufacturing continues to have the gloomiest outlook, with its optimism sub-index slumping to just 83.8.
Uncertainty surrounding Brexit has also contributed towards the continuing slow rate of job creation. BDO’s Employment Index – which indicates firms’ intentions to hire – has now dropped to 101.4, and currently resides at a two-year low.