Britain's economy appears to be losing steam, with major business surveys showing a marked slowdown in the services sector and boardrooms beset by doubt about the future following the country's vote to leave the European Union. Hayley Platt reports.
UK businesses are less likely to invest OR hire since the Brexit vote. That's according to a new survey by the British Chambers of Commerce It says there's a marked slowdown in the service sector - the backbone of the economy... And it's urging the UK Chancellor to boost business confidence in his November Autumn Statement. The economy's fared better than many expected since the vote to leave the EU, largely thanks to upbeat consumers. But the data out Monday, raises questions about Britain's longer-term prospects. (SOUNDBITE) (English) INDEPENDENT MARKET ANALYST, JEREMY BATSTONE-CARR, SAYING: "I think the UK economy is expected to continue it's fairly sluggish, fairly slow growth which of course is fairly in keeping with activity the other side of the English channel." The BCC says the economy IS still growing ... but at a lower level than before the referendum. AND accountants Deloitte say there's only been a partial rebound in morale since the post-Brexit nosedive. It says 40 percent of chief financial officers expect to cut investment over the next three years. Investors are increasingly worried that the UK will lose its preferential trading terms with the EU - pushing sterling to a fresh 31 year low against the dollar last week. (SOUNDBITE) (English) INDEPENDENT MARKET ANALYST, JEREMY BATSTONE-CARR, SAYING: "If you happen to be in the manufacturing sector and you have to order component parts from abroad, then sterling's weakness is an extreme problem and of course may very well result in pressurised margins, non-the-less I think for many in business sterling's weakness is a boon." Prominent business groups are calling for the Government to rule out the "really worst" trade options - after Prime Minister Theresa May suggested immigration would be her main priority.