The latest ICAEW Business Confidence Monitor (BCM) shows business confidence falling into negative territory in Q3, reflecting global trade disputes, Brexit divisions, slower domestic sales growth and concerns about increased regulations.
Key findings this quarter
Confidence falls to - 0.2, reversing the trend of the last 12 months, and highlighting the lack of certainty for businesses in many sectors and regions across the UK.
Input price inflation remains high, which can explain a surge in selling prices - rising at their fastest rate since Q4 2008.
Domestic sales growth is slowing, outpaced by the expansion in export growth for the first time since Q1 2017.
Capital investment expectations are subdued, with Research & Development and Staff Development budgets growth also weakening.
Businesses are hiring at a marginally slower rate than in previous quarters, but without any significant upward pressure on wages.
Regulatory requirements continue to dominate the list of rising challenges with 58% of businesses citing them as a bigger challenge than 12 months ago.
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