UK economic growth is set to "soften" even further, according to a recent survey of British businesses by the British Chamber of Commerce (BCC).
The survey of more than 8,500 companies in the UK revealed that confidence and investment, as well as key indicators such as sales and orders, were "at a low ebb". Confidence in improved turnover and profitability was in particularly bad shape, hitting an historic new low. Manufacturers also reported a fall in domestic sales during the first quarter of 2016.
A recent decline in industrial production, which fell 0.5% in February 2016 when compared to the same month in 2015, also sent shockwaves through the UK economy. This was the largest decline since August 2013, and contributed to the idea that the UK economy was slowing down.
The crisis in confidence is likely to have a knock-on effect, as UK businesses scale back their recruitment plans. Furthermore, in the service sector, 68% of firms reported that they were unable to find suitable candidates for the positions they have open.
Dr Adam Marshall, the BCC's acting general secretary, said of the recent survey:
"While the picture is static overall, there are clear indications that economic growth is continuing to soften.
"From sales and orders to confidence and investment intentions, many of the business indicators we track are at a low ebb."
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