According to the results of the survey conducted by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) among 5,600 businesses, the percentage of service firms that are trying to hire new staff has dropped to its lowest in 25 years. Moreover, the unprecedented percentage of service firms had a hard time finding new employees if they attempted to.
The manufacturing sector is experiencing difficulties as well, with manufacturers expecting their costs to increase and 81 percent of them saying that the increase will be caused by increasingly expensive raw materials.
"These figures reinforce what we are hearing from businesses up and down the country – the uncertainty over Brexit, and the lack of bold moves to boost business at home, are starting to bite," BCC Director General Dr Adam Marshall was quoted as saying by the organization's official website.
The BCC added that the growth in the service and manufacturing sectors was also hampered by the lack of investment because investors are uncertain about future conditions.
"The balance of firms who looked to invest in either plant and machinery or training fell in both sectors to their lowest level in over a year. Business confidence in turnover and profitability also weakened in the quarter," the statement said.
A separate quarterly survey conducted by Deloitte among 95 CFOs showed that almost 80 percent of them expected the business environment to deteriorate after Brexit and 44 percent expected that their capital spending will be lower in the next three years.
According to chief economist at Deloitte Ian Stewart, this is the most pessimistic evaluation by CFOs since the 2016 Brexit referendum.
Senior partner and chief executive at Deloitte David Sproul said that a Brexit deal, as opposed to a no-deal outcome, and a transition period could help to boost the business confidence.