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British Bosses Lose Confidence over Euro Crisis

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British Bosses Lose Confidence over Euro Crisis

Post  Panda on Sun 20 Nov - 5:17

Brit Bosses Lose Confidence Over Euro Crisis


Bosses see confidence slipping because of wider concerns beyond British shores

1:24am UK, Sunday November 20, 2011

Tadhg Enright, business correspondent

Failure to contain the eurozone debt crisis has caused a
sharp fall in confidence among senior business leaders, who fear the
onset of another banking crisis.

Some 70% of business leaders who answered a survey by the employers' group Confederation of Business Industry (CBI) said their confidence in the economic outlook had fallen since the beginning of August.

The survey of 122 senior figures from FTSE 350 companies, as well as
others operating in the UK, revealed that 30% believed their company's
prospects had deteriorated.

Despite earlier expectations of an economic rebound in 2012, 57% said they expected no change to the economic outlook.

Only 11% said that their trading conditions had improved amid stark
warnings from the International Monetary Fund and World Bank that the
world economy had entered a "danger zone".

In the past, somebody new would have come along and
you'd probably have given them credit and you'd have just monitored
it... now we'd definitely, definitely take pro forma.

Hansford Sensors managing director Chris Hansford

The survey was released ahead of the CBI annual conference at which
the government will be told that a renewed growth strategy must
accompany its deficit reduction programme.

CBI director-general John Cridland said: "Business confidence has
been hit by the eurozone crisis and fears of a second banking crisis in
2012, so firms are revising their investment and employment plans.

Mr Cridland told Sky News: "We can't actually make Chancellor Merkel
and President Sarkozy do anything other than what they want to do but
the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the British Prime Minister can still do
things that will influence growth in Britain.

"In one week's time we'll have the autumn statement from the
Chancellor. If Europe is bringing us down, the Chancellor can bring us

The 80% of the CBI members surveyed said that the Government should
prioritise investment in infrastructure to reinvigorate the economy,
followed by tax cuts for employers and employees.

As politicians struggle to find a solution to the debt crisis within
the eurozone - the most important market for UK exporters - the European
Central Bank has warned that a mild recession is likely in the region.

British manufacturers that rely on the eurozone to buy their goods
are watching nervously as Italian and Spanish borrowing costs hover
around levels at which Greece, Ireland and Portugal were forced into
accepting bailouts.

High Wycombe-based Hansford Sensors, which manufactures equipment for industrial machinery, has stopped offering credit to new customers in case they cannot pay.

Managing director Chris Hansford told Sky News: "In the past,
somebody new would have come along and you'd probably have given them
credit and you'd have just monitored it.

"Whereas now we'd definitely, definitely take pro forma; get money up
front we wouldn't start manufacturing until we'd actually received the
money in our bank account."

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