UK Small-Business Confidence Plummets, Worst in Scotland, Northern Ireland

Confidence among Britain’s small businesses has plummeted, a survey showed on Friday, with Northern Irish and Scottish businesses the least confident in the face of a global economic slowdown and public-sector austerity.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) first-quarter survey showed the first decline in job creation by small firms nationwide since mid-2013.

Chancellor George Osborne gave tax breaks to small businesses in Wednesday’s budget after downgrading growth forecasts, but the outlook is clouded by an upcoming vote on whether Britain should remain a member of the European Union membership.

A separate FSB survey earlier this month found 42 percent of 4,000 members were undecided about how they would vote on the EU, and more than half felt they were not well-enough informed.

Reuters

Craig Erlam
Based in London, England, Craig Erlam joined OANDA in 2015 as a Market Analyst. With more than five years' experience as a financial market analyst and trader, he focuses on both fundamental and technical analysis while conducting macroeconomic commentary. He has been published by The Financial Times, Reuters, the BBC and The Telegraph, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on Bloomberg TV, CNBC, FOX Business and BNN. Craig holds a full membership to the Society of Technical Analysts and he is recognized as a Certified Financial Technician by the International Federation of Technical Analysts.