// BDO Optimism Index found that business confidence is at its lowest level since September 2012 thanks to Brexit uncertainty
// Business confidence fell to 96.10 in March from 99.79 in February
// Worst monthly drop in the index since November 2008
Business confidence has hit its lowest level since September 2012, as the uncertainty surrounding Brexit continues.
Accountancy firm BDO’s Optimism Index found that business confidence fell to 96.10 in March from 99.79 in February.
The index is used to measure how businesses expect output to develop in the next three to six months.
The firm confirmed that this was the worst monthly drop in the index since November 2008, during the recession.
“Continued uncertainty about Brexit has led to a severe worsening of expectations about our near economic future,” BDO partner Peter Hemington said.
“What we’re now seeing is a sudden realisation that a no-deal Brexit is both a real and imminent possibility.
“With optimism at levels last seen when we just avoided double-dip recession in 2012, UK businesses expect a zero-growth economy as the backdrop to their plans.
“This matters, because worried businesses don’t hire or invest, creating the conditions for a marked downturn.”