North West business confidence fell eight points during August to minus five per cent, according to the latest Business Barometer from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking.
North West businesses’ confidence in their own trading prospects held steady at three per cent.
Together with their views on the economy, this gives an overall confidence of minus five per cent. Firms’ hiring intentions showed that a net balance of two per cent of businesses in the region expect to decrease staff levels during the next year, down four points on last month.
Martyn Kendrick, regional director for the North West at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “Economic headwinds are clearly effecting North West businesses’ outlook. However, it’s encouraging to see that firms overall are still expecting business activity to increase.
"Managing cashflow and working capital carefully are always important, but they will be especially so for businesses if they anticipate facing tougher trading conditions in the months ahead.”
Across the region, a net balance of 18 per cent said they felt that Brexit was having a negative impact.
In August, business confidence in the construction sector rose by six points to 12 per cent. Meanwhile, overall confidence fell by 16 points to three per cent in the manufacturing sector, and by 11 points to six per cent in retail, the lowest levels seen for those sectors this year.
Confidence was also down 15 points to minus three per cent in the services sector, bringing it near to the February low of minus four per cent.