The latest ICAEW Business Confidence Monitor (BCM) shows that despite stable financial data business confidence has fallen to its lowest level for nearly a decade - reflecting lack of progress on Brexit negotiations.
Key findings this quarter
A sharp fall in business confidence from -0.2 in Q3 to -12.3 this quarter. The decline is widespread across most sectors and all regions.
Despite low confidence, growth in sales volumes is still around 4% and is expected to remain at this rate over the next 12 months.
Profit growth is marginally down, as are expectations over the year ahead.
Capital investment is growing well under profit growth - reflecting caution on the part of businesses.
Employment continues to grow, but at a low rate. No significant change in the pace of growth is expected.
Concerns over regulation still dominate the increases in challenges businesses face, though the pace at which these concerns are rising has eased a little.
Find out about the research methods that underpin the ICAEW Business Confidence Monitor.
Using BCM data
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Taking part in the BCM
If you're an ICAEW member working in industry or commerce you might be called to give an opinion on the economic prospects facing your organisation - please spare a few minutes to take part. Your views will provide information on matters of key concern to a broader businesses community, policy-makers and the media. You'll also be helping ICAEW to promote Chartered Accountants as business people with a serious contribution on business, finance and economic issues.