By Daniel Hunter
The coming general election and ongoing economic uncertainty in the eurozone are the biggest concerns for businesses in 2015, according to two surveys.
Deloitte's quarterly survey of finance bosses found that May's general election is the biggest concern, with the prospect of a hung parliament making businesses more wary.
“The decline in support for the three main parties, and the rise in support for others, means the risk of political instability and the possibility of more radical policy changes is greater than before,” said Ian Stewart, Deloitte’s chief economist.
“In the past, CFOs had been more concerned with increased financial and economic uncertainty, but they’re now latching onto the more uncertain domestic political landscape.”
Research by the EEF, the manufacturers' organisation, found that 40% of factory bosses believe the economy will worsen in 2015, compared with just 5% at the start of 2014.
They said that political tensions abroad will hit demand, with little optimism for new business from Europe and the Middle East.
“Confidence can be fragile and with an election on the way it is vital that uncertainty and disruption are kept to a minimum,” said Terry Scuoler, EEF’s chief executive.
“The realities of 2014 have taken the edge off future forecasts and what we are now seeing as we head into 2015 is a far more muted outlook, tempered by a backdrop of difficulties in the EU and wider geopolitical concerns.”
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