Small company sentiment drops to lowest since Brexit vote

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Nov 07, 2019

Small manufacturers in the UK have returned their gloomiest outlook since the aftermath of the Brexit vote in 2016, new survey data published today shows.

A combination of political upheaval and potential trade wars on the horizon has caused a drop in the Confederation of British Industry’s sentiment index from -28 in the quarter to July to -32 in the quarter to October, Reuters reports.

Amid continuing concerns businesses are sitting on cash, the CBI survey reveals business are not willing to raise new investment and are suffering from weak British new order levels.

A record high was also reported when it came to the number of firms that thought export orders would suffer from the global economic and political situation outside the UK, with two-thirds of the 240 respondents believing this would happen.

CBI lead economist Alpesh Paleja says: “Firms are caught between the perfect storm of perennial Brexit uncertainty at home, and sluggish growth in the global economy.

“As well as hitting output, orders and hiring, these issues are depressing investment plans across the board.”

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