Pessimism among UK businesses soared following Britain's decision to vote in favour of leaving the European Union, a survey released on Tuesday (5 July) showed.
According to data published by YouGov and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), the number of businesses feeling pessimistic about the economic outlook over the next 12 months jumped from 25% before the vote to 49% in the week following the referendum.
Last month, Britons voted 52% to 48% in favour of leaving the 28-country bloc, a decision which has plunged the country into political and financial turmoil, sending the pound to fresh lows. Businesses, meanwhile, have urged the government to outline a clear plan to deal with the Brexit aftermath and to ensure the impact on the economy is minimised.
"These figures [....] suggest a significant shock reaction [to the Brexit vote]," said CEBR director Scott Corfe.
"Not only are businesses feeling much more pessimistic in general about the state of the economy, but their own expectations for domestic sales, exports and investments over the next 12 months have gone off a cliff."
The survey also found UK businesses were more pessimistic about their business prospective, with 26% of the 1,000 respondents concerned over the business outlook, compared to 16% in the lead-up to the vote.
Investment, domestic sales and exports are all expected to decline sharply this year, the survey showed.