The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales with Grant Thornton have produced the UK Business Confidence Monitor, which highlights that confidence stands at -10.5.
That means that business confidence is down from -6.4 in the third quarter. It also shows that confidence in the economy is at its all time low.
The figure is at its lowest level since the second quarter of 2009, when the UK was still in recession.
Confidence has fallen for two successive quarters as the global economic outlook remains weak.
The confidence figure is arrived at by asking hundreds of chartered accountants as to how confident they are in their business’s prospects, on a scale of -100 to 100, – with a negative figure highlighting less confidence than a year ago.
Participating chartered accountancy businesses based in the North West stated that turnover had increased by an average of 2.7% in the last year, unchanged from Q3 2011.
Annual growth in gross profits decreased in the last year, from 3.1% over the 12 months to Q3 to 1.9% over the 12 months to date.