TOUGHER economic conditions are taking their toll on business confidence and profits across Yorkshire, a survey revealed today.
The latest Business in Britain poll by Lloyds TSB Commercial said optimism for the coming six months was at their lowest since the surveys began in 1992 – following a sharp hike in the number of firms reporting a fall in sales in the first half of the year.
The July Business Confidence Index – measuring the percentage of firms reporting an increase in sales, orders and profits minus those reporting a decrease – plunged to minus 11% in July from plus 23% in January. The national average stands at minus 8%.
On orders, the balance of companies expecting higher rather than lower levels in the coming six months, fell to minus 3% from plus 27% at the start of the year.
A balance of minus 2% of firms predict higher sales against plus 39% last time. The balance of firms expecting profits to improve has slumped to minus 27% from plus 4%.