Business confidence falls to one year low

Overall business confidence has fallen 13 points to a one-year low of 17 per cent, according to the latest Business Barometer from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking.
The Barometer, which measures overall business confidence in how businesses regard the economic outlook and their own trading prospects, shows that economic optimism dropped 12 points to 5 per cent, the lowest level since June 2016.
Amongst those surveyed, the net balance of firms said that confidence in their own business prospects had decreased. Figures were down 14 points to 29 per cent, the lowest level for 3 months. Forty-three per cent did however report stronger business prospects, but this too was down 8 points from July.
The number of firms intending to hire remains positive, increasing by 2 points to 27 per cent. But profit margins remain under pressure, with the net balance unchanged at -8 per cent.
Commenting on the Barometer, Hann-Ju Ho, senior economist for Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, says: “The August report shows that overall business confidence has fallen to the lowest level for 12 months, with sentiment weakest among consumer-facing firms. While confidence overall is now just under the long-term average, firms’ hiring plans remain robust.”
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