UK finance directors expect economy to continue positive growth
Confidence in the UK economy continues to be positive from the country's finance directors, although their expectations are more modest than last year.
According to a survey of more than 100 FDs and CFOs, 58% of those occupying some of the UK's top financial roles expect to see growth of 1%-2.5% over the next 12 months.
Although the headline is good news for Britain, confidence is down on last year when the same proportion of FDs said they thought the country would experience strong or modest growth.
Now the numbers of those who expect flat or negligible growth over the next year have more than tripled, going up from 11% in 2014 to 37% in the same survey this year.
The report published in the journal of the ICAS, CA Magazine, in partnership with law firm DLA Piper, found that low global oil prices were seen as the most important single factor by a significant minority of FDs.
Overall, the study found that concerns about skills shortages were considered to be the biggest barrier holding UK growth rates back.
Consumers and the business sector were both deemed to have low levels of confidence, resulting in a lack of spending and investment.
The problems that the Chinese economy is experiencing and the uncertainty surrounding the UK's continued membership of the European Union also figured highly in the list of problems.
The majority of FDs who took part in the survey reported that they thought the answers to boosting economic productivity in the UK over the coming year lay in the hands of businesses themselves.
More investment in training, improved employee motivation and business processes were cited as the main areas in which positive action could yield results.
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