Worsening economic conditions are taking their toll on business confidence in the capital, according to the latest Business in Britain survey.
The study, from Lloyds TSB Commercial, revealed that firms’ optimism for the coming six months is lower than ever, with London-based companies hit hardest.
The Business Confidence Index for July showed that the balance of London-based firms expecting better order books, profits and sales plummeted to -11 per cent, down from 25 per cent in January.
The predictions are lower than the national average of -8 per cent and represent the largest swing of any UK region. The pessimistic outlook prevails despite firms’ positive experiences in the first half of the year, when a balance of 13 per cent of companies reported rising sales.
Nationally, the downward trend continued with the construction and retail sectors suffering most. Transport and communication were the sectors least affected, with 21 per cent of companies reporting a rise in sales.
Lloyds TSB Commercial’s regional director in London, Neil Mahoney, said: “The challenging economic climate is really putting the capital’s businesses to the test. And with sales and profits squeezed, it’s no surprise that so many firms are suffering a lack of confidence.”
“But the reality is that many firms will be able to weather this storm. And with the right support and financial help, there’s every reason for strong businesses to continue growing.”