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Small business confidence takes a dip

As Brexit negotiations start to take shape, the FSB Small Business Index has registered a sharp decline, hitting a one-year low, and marking a continued dip in the confidence of business owners.

The index fell from +15.0 in the second quarter of 2017 to +1.1 in the third quarter, making a second quarter in succession of falls and an acceleration in declining confidence.

The index score from second quarter was itself a falling off from a score of +20.0 in the first quarter of the year, which had marked the index’s highest level since the fourth quarter of 2015.

Small business confidence in London has fallen since a year ago and is in negative territory for the third time over the past 18 months. This is likely a result of political uncertainty and a subdued service sector performance in the first quarter.

Despite the decline registered in these most recent figures, the index does remain in positive territory for the fourth consecutive quarter and is higher than it was a year ago in the aftermath of the vote to leave the European Union.