Services sector optimism falls, survey suggests

Services sector optimism falls, survey suggests

Optimism within the services industry has fallen significantly following the UK’s vote to leave the EU, a survey by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has suggested.

The CBI’s latest quarterly Service Sector Survey was conducted between 28 July and 12 August, and questioned 61 consumer services firms and 136 business and professional services firms.

It found that the balance of firms in the consumer services sector who were optimistic about their business situation fell by -37%, constituting the fastest decline in this sub-sector since 2009.

Meanwhile, business and professional services firms reported that their business confidence had dropped by -30% – the fastest decline since 2011.

However, business volumes and profits for this sub-sector remained mostly unchanged during this quarter in comparison to the previous quarter. Additionally, consumer services companies experienced moderate growth in business volumes.

Anna Leach, Head of Economic Analysis and Surveys at the CBI, commented: ‘To shore up confidence across the economy, the Government must clearly communicate plans for negotiations to leave the EU, and demonstrate its commitment to stimulating growth and driving investment with an ambitious Autumn Statement.’