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Retail and wholesale was 'least confidant sector' in Q4

Published: 6 January 2011
Economic growth will be slower than forecast next year according to the latest ICAEW/Grant Thornton UK Business Confidence Monitor (BCM).
Retail and wholesale was 'least confidant sector' in Q4
The index has fallen since Q3 2010 by nearly 10 points, from 21.5 to 11.9, while the percentage of businesses less confidant about the coming 12 months rose from 19% in Q3 to 24% in Q4.

Confidence in the retail and wholesale, manufacturing and engineering and property sectors fell significantly. Retail and wholesale was the least confidant sector with an index of 1.7 in Q4 compared with 23.2 at the same time last year.

Grant Thornton ceo Scott Barnes said "2011 will undoubtedly be another difficult year with forecasts currently softening on the back of expectations of reduced consumer spending. However businesses are still predicting that exports, turnover and profits will be higher over the next four quarters than in 2010 overall. Businesses are now used to dealing with difficult conditions and will continue to review their own prospects in terms of financing, order books and opportunities. There are many dynamic companies, including exporters, buoyed by the relative weakness of sterling, looking to invest in their long-term futures."

Confidence in the South East continued on a downward path in Q4, with the index falling from 9.7 to 2.3, making the region the least confident in the UK. Confidence fell most sharply in Yorkshire and Humberside, and declined in London from 25.9 in Q3 to 17.5 in Q4. However, London remains the third most confident region, behind Scotland and the North West.

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