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Majority of FTSE 500 leaders pessimistic with UK economy in 2019: survey
Last Updated: 2019-01-03 10:29 | Xinhua
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Business leaders are more pessimistic with the UK economy as Brexit date looms large, with three quarters of leaders from the 500 largest companies in the UK expecting economic condition to decline over the next 12 months, a new survey said on Wednesday.

An overwhelming majority of the FTSE 500 see the resolution of uncertainty around Brexit as the most important issue facing Britain and most have no confidence in the government's ability to negotiate a good deal for UK businesses with the EU, according to the survey by Ipsos Mori, a leading market research company.

For its annual survey of Britain's Captains of Industry, Ipsos Mori conducted interviews with board members from the top 500 companies by turnover and the top 100 by capital employed in the UK over the past four months on their attitudes towards Brexit.

While a third doubt the government's policies will improve the British economy, 94 percent of these surveyed disagree the Labour's policies would work for the economy, the survey said.

The survey said business leaders find Brexit to date is worse than they predicted 12 months ago. Some 67 percent feel that the business situation for their company is currently worse than it would have been if the UK had voted to stay in the EU, whereas last year only 56 percent of these surveyed predicted they would be experiencing a worsening position by now.

However, nearly all the company bosses are confident that their company can adapt to the post Brexit consequences and half expect their business to improve over the next 12 months, with one fifth expecting it to get worse, it said.

"Britain's largest businesses feel Brexit is having a more profound impact on British business than our business leaders thought it would a year ago," said Ben Page, CEO of Ipsos MORI. "As with the public, business is losing confidence in the government's ability to manage Brexit, but has no confidence in Labour doing any better."

"More positively, most think they will adapt, but nearly all think leaving the EU without a deal will be bad for their business," Page said. Enditem

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