UK businesses 'negative on economic outlook'

02 Sep 2019

Many UK board members believe that the UK's economy will deteriorate over the next year, according to research.

The research, which was carried out by the Chartered Governance Institute (ICSA) and the Financial Times, polled board members of FTSE 350 companies. It revealed that 69% of respondents think the combined effects of Brexit, 'trade wars' and consumer slowdown will have a 'negative impact' on the UK economy over the next 12 months.

Just 7% of respondents expect the economy to improve, which is up from 2% recorded at the end of 2018.

Commenting on the survey, Peter Swabey, Director of Policy and Research at the ICSA, said: 'The continuing uncertainty about what a post-Brexit Britain might look like, muddled even further at the time of the survey by the Conservative Party leadership contest and differing views with regard to a no-deal Brexit, has undoubtedly contributed to the pessimism that people are feeling.'

Meanwhile, the research also found that 40% of respondents think a no-deal Brexit would be damaging to business, while 40% think it would not, and 20% are unsure.

More generally, 3% of respondents believe leaving the EU is positive, compared to 59% who see it as 'damaging' – down from 73% at the end of 2018. However, the proportion of those considering Brexit to be a 'principal risk' has increased to 49% from the figure of 39% recorded in the summer of 2018.

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