IoD issues harsh business warning

The statement comes after a survey released today, which said business confidence among company directors had fallen to its lowest level in four years.

In its Business Opinion Survey for the fourth quarter of 2001, the IoD found only 10% of company bosses were more optimistic about their company’s prospects than in the previous quarter.

Although the majority of companies said they were still performing well, most acknowledged performance had slipped, with a particular slump in export order books.

Ruth Lea, head of the policy unit at the IoD said: ‘Every activity indicator -company performance, output, employment, profits, total orders, export orders – significantly deteriorated.’

‘The manufacturing sector continues to underperform the rest of the economy, reflecting its exposure to difficult overseas trading conditions and the weak euro.

Despite these negative indications, the IoD remains confident the UK as a whole would avoid recession.

An increase in public spending, combined with low interest rates, benign inflation and a resilient consumer was the basis for the IoD’s optimistic outlook.

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