According to ACCA’s recent Global Economic Conditions (GEC) survey, worldwide economic confidence fell for the third quarter in a row to end 2018 at an all-time low and confidence in the UK was found to be at its lowest since the launch of GEC in 2009.
The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) said: "Uncertainty over Brexit reached extreme levels and affected economic activity and confidence, with business investment now on a declining trend. However, despite the Brexit uncertainty, economic fundamentals are in relatively good shape, with inflation drifting down towards the target, a buoyant labour market and a revival in wage growth."
Narayanan Vaidyanathan, head of business insights at ACCA, said: "At the start of 2018, results for the UK showed the country's highest level of confidence since quarter one of 2017. However, over 2018, we've seen UK sentiment plummet to reach the end of the calendar year at its lowest point. The slump in confidence comes amid extremely high uncertainty over the outlook for Brexit. As it stands, there remains a range of possible outcomes, (and) projections for the economy are pure conjecture. A disorderly no-deal outcome would have the potential to trigger a recession, but even this would probably be relatively short-lived, offset by a monetary and fiscal policy response. Other outcomes, such as a withdrawal agreement or a delay in the process, would not derail the economy, (because of) its underlying positive momentum. Indeed, any reduction in uncertainty may give the economy a boost, especially from a catch-up in investment spending."