Brexit transition deal boosted confidence in UK firms: Deloitte

Vastavam web: Britain’s Brexit transition deal last month has boosted confidence among finance chiefs at some of the country’s leading companies, a survey published on Monday showed.Accountancy firm Deloitte said 27 percent of chief financial officers it interviewed after the deal was struck were more optimistic than three months earlier.

Prime Minister Theresa May and the rest of the EU’s leaders agreed on March 19 to keep their existing trade ties unchanged for 21 months after Brexit in March 2019.The deal pushed back the risk of disruption for companies until the end of 2020, although for the transition agreement to become effective London and Brussels must first agree on their long-term trade ties for the period after 2020.

Risk appetite strengthened after the deal, with 23 percent of those responding after the deal was done saying it was a good time to take on risk, up from 12 percent beforehand.The survey also showed corporate uncertainty was at a two-year low, although almost one in three CFOs said their firms still faced high or very high levels of uncertainty.Britain’s economy has slowed since the 2016 referendum decision to leave the EU, due in part to weaker growth in investment spending by companies.

“Concerns about the dampening effect on corporate spending plans remain, but they have softened.”Deloitte said for the first time in two years Brexit was not the top risk for CFOs, being replaced by weak domestic demand.However, much of that weakness in demand reflects the impact that the Brexit vote has had on spending by British households, who have faced higher inflation caused by the fall in the value of sterling.