Confidence slumps amid growing fear for economy

Company directors have raised concerns over shortages of skilled and trained staffDANIEL SORABJI/AFP

Business leaders are more depressed over the state of the economy and the prospects for their own companies than at any time since the summer of 2017, when Theresa May’s decision to call a snap general election led to a hung parliament with Brexit looming.

Latest figures from the monthly “confidence tracker” report of the Institute of Directors show that all regions of the UK are more pessimistic than at any time in the past 18 months.

The finding comes as a report from R3, the trade body for insolvency and corporate turnaround professionals, has found that 11 per cent of companies are unable to pay down their debt. Instead, these businesses are said to be treading water, paying off the interest on borrowings and…

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