UK Business Confidence Wet & Slippery


Business confidence among UK firms is falling, two surveys have suggested.

It had been hoped that manufacturing would boost the UK’s economic recovery

The Business Trends optimism index from accountants BDO fell to 95.1 in July from 95.6 in June.

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) said that more employers planned to cut jobs than increase staffing levels in the third quarter.

Both BDO and the CIPD said that the drop in confidence was thanks largely to a fragile manufacturing sector.

“Increasing uncertainty about growth prospects in both the UK and global economies is now affecting hiring intentions, particularly in those industries such as manufacturing that stand to lose most in the event of a global slowdown,” said Gerwyn Davies, public policy adviser at the CIPD.

‘Rapid decline’
BDO’s optimism index in July was at its lowest level since January, with its data suggesting that the manufacturing sector had contracted for the second month in a row.

BDO partner Peter Hemington said the UK’s economic recovery continued to falter.

“The rapid decline of the manufacturing sector, championed as the key to a rebalancing of the UK economy, is alarming,” he said.

BDO’s indices are calculated by taking a weighted average of the results of the UK’s main business surveys from the CBI, the Bank of England and the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply.

Its survey of surveys is compiled by the Centre for Economics and Business Research and covers 11,000 companies from a range of industries.

The CIPD’s survey is based on responses from more than 1,000 employers.


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