By Marcus Leach

A new survey has suggested that the biggest issue businesses face today is a downturn in demand.

The study, conducted by law firm Lovetts, revealed that almost two thirds of those surveyed highlighted the downturn in demand as their biggest problem.

Economic uncertainty and competition on pricingwere the next two most prominent concerns.

On the other side of the equation currency exchange pressures and increases in VAT, tax and national insurance were generally rated as not a problem for most firms.

"Downturn in demand is the biggest fear for businesses right now and it’s not surprising. Customers are hard won and prices are being driven down which means margins are being squeezed. In essence, many businesses are running to stand still," Lovetts chairman Charles Wilson said.

"It’s at times such as this that keeping a focus on cash flow is paramount to help cope with the uncertainty in the market and put the business on firm footing if demand does fall."

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