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Gloucestershire Business News

Business confidence falls due to Brexit deadlock

UK business confidence is continuing to fall, with construction and retail among the sectors feeling the least confident, according to a new report.

The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) has released the latest Business Confidence Monitor (BCM), which says that confidence is falling due to global economic worries and weakness in the UK, as reported by Accountacy Age.

The key findings are:

  • Apart from the IT and communications sector, confidence is falling. The least confident industries are property, construction, retail, and wholesale.
  • Every region has "negative confidence", with the West Midlands, East of England and London experiencing the lowest confidence of all regions.
  • Due to slower sales, there has been a decline in profits in the last 12 months.
  • Staff turnover is starting to increase, causing market challenges.

ICAEW said that companies are unclear about the future, with directors trying to wok out the impact Brexit might have on their businesses.

With an unstable foundation in government, and thus the current future of the UK economy, ICAEW said that companies are making decisions now about jobs, supply chains, headquarters, and asset locations, incurring significant, and sometimes unnecessary, cost and disruption.

The report found that 18 per cent of businesses were concerned about the of availability of management skills, while 25 per cent were worried about availability of non-management skills, and 24 per cent about staff turnover.

ICAEW said it fears the impact of a 'no deal' Brexit and it urges the government to break the Brexit deadlock to help restore business confidence.

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