FDs’ pessimism on future ‘worse now than last year’

FINANCE DIRECTORS are more pessimistic about the future of the UK economy than they were last year, according to an ICAS report.

In 2010 the ICAS FD survey found 28% expected “slow but consistent growth”. Since then the deteriorating euro crisis, the US debt debacle and credit rating downgrade, poor GDP figures and the return of a double-dip recession as a serious threat; FDs are less confident on the future of the UK’s economy.

Just more than half back the coalition government’s aim to significantly reduce the deficit, but one in five believe the austerity measures are hurting the economy.

More than half (56%) said growth would be flat or negligible through the second half of 2012, with a quarter claiming things would get worse before they got better.

Anton Colella, (pictured) ICAS chief executive, said: “FDs are not only concerned about today’s troubles but also, in a volatile global market, where the next crisis is coming from.

“This ripple effect makes it hard to see what lies underneath the surface. The four key growth drivers – businesses, consumers, exports and government -are all problematic, making healthier conditions hard to prescribe.

“However, FDs are adept at rolling up their sleeves in tough times. The survey also highlighted that 60% of finance directors have had opportunities to grow their business organically since the 2008 onset and 52% have still managed to grow through acquisition.”

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