Brexit sends London business confidence plummeting downwards

Last Updated: Wed, Jan 09, 2019 11:37 hrs

London: Brexit has battered the confidence of businesses in London, according to a new survey released on Tuesday.

The overall company prospects and businesses expectation of the London economy falling to their lowest recorded levels, according to the Capital 500 quarterly survey, released by London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), the city's business representative body, Xinhua reported.

"Capital 500 is London's largest business survey and, with all business confidence and economic indicators falling... these results should act as a wake-up call for the government," Colin Stanbridge, LCCI chief executive said.

The balance figure for overall company prospects decreased to minus 11 per cent, the lowest recorded level since the start of the Capital 500 in 2016.

Expectations for both the London and the British economy fell further into negative territory, where they have been for 10 and 11 quarters respectively, and the figure for expectations of the London economy fell by 12 points to minus 28 per cent, its lowest recorded level to date.

The figure for the UK economy fell by seven points to minus 34 per cent.

"It is staggering that we are now weeks away from leaving the European Union and businesses still don't know the terms of that departure and what preparations they require, the government must urgently provide that clarity," Stanbridge added.

"Businesses, particularly those small and medium sized, need support and encouragement in these exceedingly turbulent times."

Brexit is also affecting recruitment, according to the survey, with the percentage of companies looking to recruit dropped to 12 per cent, its second lowest for three years, and of those that did try to recruit 58 per cent found difficulties.

Sixty-one per cent of all businesses said that they are operating at below full capacity.

As stated by the survey, balance figures represent the percentage of firms that reported an increase minus the percentage that reported a decrease or firms that selected improve minus the percentage that selected worsen.