Business optimism falls to seven-month low
The confidence of UK businesses is faltering against the backdrop of protracted and unclear Brexit negotiations, according to the latest Business Trends Report by accountants and business advisers BDO LLP.
The new report reveals that the BDO Optimism Index – which indicates how firms expect their order books to deliver over the coming six months – has declined to 102.05, from 103.17 in October. It now sits at its lowest level since April this year and is only just above the long-term trend of 100.
The dip in optimism is also being reflected in BDO’s Output Index, which indicates UK business output in November. The index has fallen a further 0.09 in November to 98.99, below the long-term trend and at its lowest reading in almost two years.
Firms’ outlook for the future is being dampened following a challenging end to the year in which clarity about the UK’s exit from the EU remains unclear, despite the agreement of a deal last Friday, and the Office for Budget Responsibility revised its growth forecast for the UK economy down to 1.4 per cent.