The latest evidence of the extent to which the UK's vote to leave the EU has shaken the economy has been released today, with another survey showing a remarkable decline in business confidence.
The Lloyds business barometer crashed from a score of 32 to just six on an index where positive scores indicate rising business activity. The fall was one of the sharpest monthly declines and takes the headline indicator to a four-year low, on a par with levels last seen during the Eurozone debt crisis.
Confidence in the wider economy, a separate measure, slumped into negative territory, with more firms feeling pessimistic than optimistic about the future.
Hann-Ju Ho, a senior economist at Lloyds bank said it was an "unsurprising downward shift in confidence", given that the survey took place in the days immediately after the vote. It follows another confidence index from YouGov and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) out earlier this week which saw confidence "fall off a cliff" in the days after the vote.
Despite overall concern, hiring intentions among companies remained steady – "a good indication of longer-term resilience," according to Lloyds' Ho. The survey also found confidence among manufacturers held up better than the services sector, as they hope to benefit from improved international demand off the back of a significantly weaker pound.