Business in Britain survey: SME confidence reaches four year low

The latest Business in Britain report shows that UK small business confidence is at its lowest level since 2012, with experts claiming post-Brexit uncertainty is partly responsible.

Few businesses feel positive about the future

Lloyds Bank publishes the index every six months, based on the responses of 1,500 businesses across the country representing a range of industries.

The overall business confidence figure has hit a four-year low of 12 per cent, down from 38 per cent six months before.

The metric is based on the proportion of firms that feel optimistic about the outlook for their sales, orders and profits for the next six months.

Confidence linked to Brexit?

The latest results, published this week, are from a survey that was taken in the middle of July, as the country reacted to the UK’s vote to leave the EU.

Businesses in London and Scotland, areas that voted ‘remain’ in the referendum, showed the lowest levels of confidence, while businesses in Wales and Yorkshire were the most bullish.

When businesses were asked about the threats they faced over the coming months, economic uncertainty was the most common answer (27 per cent) followed by dwindling UK demand (18 per cent).

Economic slowdown predicted

Commenting on the survey results, Lloyds’ Tim Hinton said:

“It seems clear from the survey that economic growth is likely to slow, following a relatively robust performance before the vote. All of the key metrics in our survey, including the outlook for demand, employment and investment, have weakened.”

However, Hinton also highlighted the fact that business confidence levels still remain far higher than they were during the global financial crisis of 2008/9.

What do you think about the survey results? Tell us in the comments.

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