A survey by the Institute of Directors (IoD) today has revealed that British business are delaying investment and employment decisions as fears about a prolonged recession are hurting their confidence. The IoD poll of nearly 1,300 of its members showed that 44% of top business executives had postponed at least one investment or employment decision this year due to the uncertain environment. Robin Johnson, partner at international law firm Eversheds, comments:

“Business is nervous and there are a number of macro economic trends that are causing risk to be enhanced even further such as the Euro crisis, the US election and uncertainty in the banking sector. However, on the ground everyday investments decisions are being made.

“There is a belief amongst manufacturers that quality counts and aligning strategy to both suppliers and customers is the vogue. Leverage and working capital on the whole are under control and companies are leaner, but virtually every manufacturing company we talk to is looking for opportunities to grow either through strategic capex, R&D, growing market share or acquisition.

“The Olympic feeling remains in the board room that actually UK manufacturing PLC / SME is not doing that badly and all it needs is for clearer macro global economic and political guidance to appear for confidence to long term investment and growth to return.”