Business optimism and company performance both slumped during the firstquarter of 2003, with British firms’ profits and order books also falling. The findings are revealed in the latest Institute of Directors’ (IOD)Business Opinion Survey, based on input from 500 leading company directors. Employment and output growth were also considerably weaker with the fall-offin business activity that started in the middle of 2002 accelerating rapidly. According to the poll, the balance of companies that were more positiveabout business prospects has crashed to minus 6 per cent, compared to 15 percent in December and 40 per cent 12 months ago. The balance of companies performing well, minus those doing badly, was just53 per cent -a fall of 7 per cent from December 2002 and 27 per cent from June2001. Ruth Lea, head of the policy unit at the IOD, said the figures were muchworse than expected with all the major indicators deteriorating. “Thesurvey was conducted during the early stages of the war with Iraq so it isdifficult to judge how this affected sentiment,” she said. “The results are so bad that they do not suggest a rapid return tostrong growth – there are simply too many negative managers.” Average pay settlements were around 3.2 per cent compared to 4.3 per cent inDecember, while price pressures continued with directors complaining ofexcessive bureaucracy. “The US economy is seriously unbalanced but will recover through sheerdrive. In the UK, however, the Government persists in hampering business withmore taxes and red tape,” added Lea. www.iod.com UK performance and orders trail in first quarterOn 22 Apr 2003 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos.