Disappointing global growth and the debt crisis in Europe have caused business confidence to fall to its lowest level since the recession, according to a report in The Guardian.The latest Deloitte CFO Survey, which considers the views of chief financial officers of major UK companies, showed that optimism decreased for the third successive quarter between July and September, and has reached the lowest point since early 2009. Over 40% of executives questioned believe that the UK will fall back into recession, compared to 33% last quarter.
Says Margaret Ewing, a senior Deloitte partner, "The world has become riskier and more uncertain for corporates. Most think that a period of margin expansion is drawing to an end. CFOs are responding with a renewed focus on cost control. Expectations of a revival in corporate capital spending and hiring are fading."
A separate study, meanwhile, suggests that confidence within the manufacturing and service sectors has also dropped to a two-year low. The latest Business Trends report by the accountants BDO shows that, for the first time since July 2009, both of the aforementioned sectors are showing optimism levels below the 95 mark that indicates growth.