Business confidence on the wane, new report shows

Demand for corporate insolvency advice could start to rise following new research that points towards an increased lack of confidence among businesses.

According to the findings of the latest Economy Watch survey from the Forum of Private Business, more than four out of ten businesses (43 per cent) said they are not very confident about their business prospects during the current unpredictable economic climate.

Furthermore, one in ten businesses (11 per cent) said they were outright pessimistic, with six per cent of respondents saying they are “very pessimistic”.

Meanwhile, just one per cent of businesses said that they were very confident. Slightly more than one in four respondents (27 per cent) said that they were moderately confident about their future.

The findings reveal that business confidence has been getting progressively lower over the past few years.

When the Economy Watch survey was published in 2010, four in ten respondents (39 per cent) said they were not very confident about their business’ prospects for growth, five per cent said they were pessimistic and seven per cent said they were very pessimistic.

Some 36 per cent of businesses questioned in 2010 said they were confident about their prospects, with five per cent saying they were very confident.

Phil Orford, chief executive of the Forum for Private Business, said it is worrying that businesses are having less confidence about their future prospects and their ability to foster growth and job creation and pointed out that this trend partly reflects anxiety about a double dip recession.

“While some small businesses have seen improved profitability, and despite many experiencing an upturn in trading conditions during the past year, too often profits are being decimated by a rising tide of costs,” Mr Orford said.

“Finance is also scarce and expensive, so business owners’ ability to maintain any kind of reasonable cash flow is being undermined.”

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