Business leaders’ confidence in the economy has fallen to its lowest point in 2018, a new survey from the Institute of Directors reveals today.
There was some optimism earlier in the year, following the progress made on phase one of Brexit negotiations in December. However the IoD’s Confidence Tracker shows that since April net confidence has fallen 19 percentage points back into the red.
Meanwhile, firms’ expectations for future investment and employment remained subdued, while a majority of directors anticipated rising costs for the year ahead.
After the UK’s general economic conditions, uncertainty around trade with the EU was the biggest concern of business leaders, having fallen out of the top three earlier in the year.
While optimism about the wider economy sunk, bosses remained buoyant about the prospects of their own firms, with a net balance of 37% having a positive outlook. However, this lies below the average firm-level confidence for the first six months of the year.