Corporate optimism is dropping sharply

Julian Harris
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CORPORATE optimism in the UK has dropped at the fastest rate since the collapse of Lehman Brothers in September 2008, according to a Deloitte survey of chief financial officers released this morning.

Yet strong balance sheets and the availability of low-cost capital have seen risk appetite hold up at close to a three and a half year high, the survey showed.

Companies that bring in a large proportion of revenue from abroad are tending to be more expansionary and have a higher level of risk appetite than their more UK-focused counterparts, Deloitte said. Expansion into new markets remains one of the top priorities for CFOs.

A separate survey released today by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) shows the UK’s economic recovery “remains fragile”.