The Deloitte CFO survey for the final quarter of 2018 revealed the largest increase in business confidence in the 11 years of the survey.
According to the study, which gauges sentiment across the largest businesses in the UK, confidence has increased to an all-time high.
It is perhaps unsurprising given the research for the Deloitte CFO survey took place immediately after the general election in December; the definitive result, 80-seat majority and subsequent confidence that legislation will be passed must have had an affect on businesses.
Indeed, one of the biggest results from the survey is that Brexit – seen as the biggest concern since the EU referendum by CFOs – dropped to third place in the final quarter of the year.
Demand took over as the biggest risk in the eyes of CFOs, followed by geopolitical risk and then the effects of Brexit.
Still, two thirds of CFOs expect the overall business environment to deteriorate as a result of Britain’s departure from the EU, but this is significantly lower than previous quarters, and those who expect a long-term improvement for business as a result of Brexit rose to 18%.
Through the Deloitte CFO survey, 53% of respondents said they are more optimistic about their company than they were three months ago; this is up markedly from 9% in the previous quarter, and is the highest level achieved in the survey’s history.
There is increasing sentiment about revenues and risk, which subsequently means a rise in hiring expectations throughout the next year.
Deloitte’s Chief Economist, Ian Stewart, said: “The fog of uncertainty that has lingered over the UK since the 2016 EU referendum is lifting.
“CFOs’ perceptions of external uncertainty have fallen from one of the highest ever readings to near-average levels, and they are beginning 2020 with sentiment levels that would have been unimaginable at any time in the last three years.”