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London business least pessimistic

Despite a continuing fall in confidence in the capital, London businesses are in fact among the least pessimistic in the UK, according to the latest ICAEW Business Confidence Monitor.

"London

December 2018

London is among the least negative regions, according to the latest ICAEW Business Confidence Monitor results. While the national business confidence index now stands at -12.3, its lowest since Q2 2009, in London the confidence figure is now at -9, marginally worse than the East Midlands, North West and Wales.

London has experienced faster and more stable sales growth than most, although not markedly so. It seems likely that a strongly negative sentiment in the Banking, Finance & Insurance sector is being offset by the neutral position of the IT & Communications and Business Services sectors: all three are important to the capital.

Key findings for BCM Q4 2018:

  • Business confidence fell from -0.2 in Q3 to -12.3 this quarter – a sharp fall in the index
  • Despite low confidence, growth in sales volumes is still around 4% and is expected to remain at this rate over the next 12 months 
  • Across the UK, all regions are in negative territory. FTSE 350 companies are more pessimistic than privately-owned businesses. 
  • Companies continue to find regulations a growing challenge, although the pace at which these concerns are rising has eased slightly 

Sharron Gunn, ICAEW Executive Director, said: “Business confidence is at its lowest point since the financial crisis ten years ago. Leaving the EU and its potential impact is at the front of everyone’s minds. This is a difficult time to run a business, let alone finance the major investments the UK economy will desperately need post Brexit to drive growth. The Budget offered some relief to business but more significant action is needed by Government to provide stability and reassurance.”

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