Thames Valley: Business confidence deteriorates as profits dip

A preview of results from the autumn 2019 Thames Valley Business Barometer survey, conducted between September and November this year, shows that business confidence, turnover and profit across the region has declined since spring 2019.

The latest survey revealed 46% of Thames Valley business leaders felt that economic confidence had stayed the same or improved, while 54% reported it had deteriorated. There continues to be a decrease in confidence in the region, driven by Brexit concerns and the impact it will have on recruitment and trade.

According to the survey, 35% of Thames Valley businesses think their business will be worse off after leaving the European Union while only 5% feel Brexit will positively impact their business.

Compared with the previous survey in spring 2019, perceptions about Brexit in the Thames Valley have significantly decreased. Before, business leaders were mostly undecided (47%) and only 24% felt that they would be worse off after leaving the EU. There is still a huge amount of uncertainty surrounding Brexit, with mounting pessimism among Thames Valley businesses.

The Thames Valley Business Barometer, which is published twice yearly, has been tracking business confidence and performance across the region since 2012. It is a collaboration between accountancy and business advisory firm BDO LLP and disruptive-tech PR and marketing agency, C8 Consulting.

Business leaders from the Barometer panel came together in November to discuss the early findings at a roundtable hosted by BDO and C8.