UK Companies Remains Pessimistic About UK Growth Despite Improvement

(Alliance News) - The boards of some of the largest firms in the UK are pessimistic about growth ...

Alliance News 27 August, 2019 | 10:11AM
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(Alliance News) - The boards of some of the largest firms in the UK are pessimistic about growth prospects in both the UK and globally over the coming year, despite a modest improvement since late in 2018.

Data from the Financial Times-ICSA Boardroom Bellwether survey showed 69% of respondents from FTSE 350-listed firms believe that the UK economy will decline in the year to come. Only 7% of respondents expect the UK economy to improve over the next 12 months.

This was a slightly improvement on the 81% forecast of a UK economic decline over the next twelve months forecast in the winter of 2018, with only 2% expecting an improvement at the time.

"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," ICSA Chartered Governance Institute Policy & Research Director Peter Swabey said.

The Financial Times-ICSA Boardroom Bellwether survey is a biannual questionnaire, with the most recent survey receiving responses from 65 companies in the FTSE 350.

The survey also indicated boards were softening their pessimism towards Brexit, though just by a little. Some 59% of respondents now expect the European Union exit of the UK to be damaging, whilst 3% see it as positive. Nonetheless, 12% of respondents are considering moving or have moved a substantial part of their business from the UK to somewhere else within the EU.

On a global scale, 51% of the respondents forecast the global economy to decline in the next year with 10% predicting an improvement.

"Few predict an improvement in global economic conditions," Swabey added. "With the trade war between the US and China still playing out, over twice as many people now fear a decline than was the case in summer 2018 when just 24% predicted a decline."

By Ahren Lester;

Copyright 2019 Alliance News Limited. All Rights Reserved.

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