The latest ICAEW UK Business Confidence Monitor (BCM) shows that business confidence has returned to negative territory, reversing the gains made in Q2 2017. A snap general election, the hung parliament and the hesitant progress of negotiations with the EU has meant British businesses are now adopting a more cautious, wait-and-see approach.
Key findings this quarter
The Confidence Index falls from 6.7 in Q2 to -8 this quarter.
Input prices continue to rise more rapidly than at any time since 2012.
Businesses seek to control overall cost rises by holding wage growth to a rate below inflation, though profits growth will remain weak.
Overall sales growth stays modest, while the depreciation of sterling hasn’t led to faster growth in exports.
Capital investment expectations for growth are well below the rates seen in 2014 and 2015, with uncertainty a likely reason.
Availability of non-management skills is a growing concern for a record-equalling proportion of businesses.
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