Watch too many reports on BBC Newsnight, and you’ll start believing that all British businesspeople are terminally depressed. The reality, as shown today on FDs Raise Their Voice day, is rather different.Based on 794 responses to this year’s Satisfaction Survey (which determines the results of the annual FDs’ Excellence Awards, in association with ICAEW), UK finance directors still believe that their businesses’ destiny is in their own hands. Here, recording their opinions between the end of 2011 and February 2012, is what they say:
- When asked whether they’ve become more or less optimistic about the prospects for their own business over the past year, 47.9 per cent said more. (39 per cent said neutral; 13 per cent said less.). This is, as you might expect, a measured reaction to what is undoubtedly a tough commercial climate, especially in the eurozone, where most export-minded UK companies ply their trade. It is not, however, evidence of confidence spiralling down the toilet.
- Where this serious group of business leaders have concerns is in the prospects for the wider UK and world economy. They’re not daft; they can see the data. On the UK economy, 49.8 per cent have become less confident over the past year. Even more 56 per cent believe the prospects for the world economy to have turned for the worse. However, and I will repeat my previous point, these people have enough faith in their own abilities to believe that their own business’s prospects can improve presumably through hard work, tenacity and innovation. If you believe you can outperform the market in your sector, you’re not alone.
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