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UK Businesses Start Suffering From Uncertainty Over Brexit Outcome - Surveys

© AFP 2023 / Ben STANSALLDelegates are seen near a sign that reads "The Best Brexit Deal" at the venue on the first day of the Conservative Party Conference 2018 at the International Convention Centre in Birmingham, on September 30, 2018.
Delegates are seen near a sign that reads The Best Brexit Deal at the venue on the first day of the Conservative Party Conference 2018 at the International Convention Centre in Birmingham, on September 30, 2018. - Sputnik International
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The uncertainty over the outcome of Brexit is harming the UK businesses, with the service and manufacturing sectors suffering from the lack of investment and Chief Financial Officers (CFO) increasingly pessimistic about Brexit consequences, two surveys revealed on Monday.

According to the results of the survey conducted by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) among 5,600 businesses, the percentage of service firms that are trying to hire new staff has dropped to its lowest in 25 years. Moreover, the unprecedented percentage of service firms had a hard time finding new employees if they attempted to.

READ MORE: UK PM May Orders Preparation of Crisis Plans Amid No-Deal Brexit — Reports

The manufacturing sector is experiencing difficulties as well, with manufacturers expecting their costs to increase and 81 percent of them saying that the increase will be caused by increasingly expensive raw materials.

"These figures reinforce what we are hearing from businesses up and down the country – the uncertainty over Brexit, and the lack of bold moves to boost business at home, are starting to bite," BCC Director General Dr Adam Marshall was quoted as saying by the organization's official website.

The BCC added that the growth in the service and manufacturing sectors was also hampered by the lack of investment because investors are uncertain about future conditions.

"The balance of firms who looked to invest in either plant and machinery or training fell in both sectors to their lowest level in over a year. Business confidence in turnover and profitability also weakened in the quarter," the statement said.

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Marshall added that the results of the survey also supported the organization's appeal to the authorities to abandon its plans on curbing immigration into the United Kingdom and cooperate with the business sector when making such policy.

A separate quarterly survey conducted by Deloitte among 95 CFOs showed that almost 80 percent of them expected the business environment to deteriorate after Brexit and 44 percent expected that their capital spending will be lower in the next three years.

According to chief economist at Deloitte Ian Stewart, this is the most pessimistic evaluation by CFOs since the 2016 Brexit referendum.

Senior partner and chief executive at Deloitte David Sproul said that a Brexit deal, as opposed to a no-deal outcome, and a transition period could help to boost the business confidence.

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