Businesses less optimistic about Brexit impact – report

Sentiment among businesses in central England about the short-term impact of Brexit dipped in the fourth quarter of 2017, according to a new survey from RSM.

The survey, conducted by YouGov, featured RSM’s Brexit Monitor index, in which any reading above 100 indicates that businesses are more optimistic than pessimistic.

Sentiment among businesses in the Midlands and East Anglia about the impact of Brexit on their business over a two-year period slipped from a positive score of 108 in the third quarter of 2017 into negative territory with a score of 94 in quarter four, slightly below the national average of 98.

However, viewed over a five-year period firms across the Central regions of the UK were much more upbeat, with the index score rising from 101 in the third quarter to 113 in quarter four, eight points above the national average, and the highest score across the English regions.

In terms of preparedness for Brexit, businesses across the region were slightly behind the national average, with respondents saying they had taken 34 per cent of actions necessary to prepare, two percentage points below the national average.

When asked to prioritise the top remaining actions needed, the region’s businesses listed increasing local recruitment, reviewing or adjusting EU customer contracts, and establishing EU subsidiaries or branches.

Broadly, firms in the region were reasonably confident in the Government’s ability to deliver a good Brexit deal.

Nearly half (49 per cent) expressed a confidence that the UK’s delegation will be able to negotiate a ‘good deal’ with the EU, compared to just 11 per cent who said they were not confident.

However, a sizeable proportion of respondents in central England (41 per cent) remain unsure as to the Government’s ability to strike an accord with the European Union.

Mark Taylor (pictured), RSM’s regional managing partner for the central region, said: “Businesses throughout the Midlands and East Anglia are unhappy about the lack of certainty surrounding our future trading arrangements, and that’s understandable.

“That frustration is reflected in their pessimism over the short term. However, they do remain relatively upbeat about Brexit’s longer term impact.

“The fact that the Government has reached an agreement over the divorce settlement with the EU will come as a relief to many businesses. It will be interesting to see how sentiment plays out over the course of the year when trading negotiations start in earnest.”

 

Source : greaterbirminghamchambers.com – Sentiment among businesses in central England about the short-term impact of Brexit dipped in the fourth quarter of 2017, according to a new survey from RSM. The survey, conducted by YouGov, featured…

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