UK business
December 2016 survey shows business confidence level at 111.1, the same as November Reuters

Confidence levels among British businesses in December remained unchanged from the previous month, according to a survey published on Tuesday (17 January) by polling firm YouGov and the Centre for Economic and Business Research (CEBR), one of the UK's leading economics consultancies.

The survey report as seen by IBTimes UK showed that December's survey index had seen confidence levels at 111.1. This was the same as November's survey index and marked the second-highest level since Britain voted to leave the EU in June 2016. A score above 100 means a net positive sentiment.

While there is no month-on-month change, the current levels are much better than some of the previous months in 2016. For instance, business confidence had slumped in July, the month following the Brexit vote.

Confidence levels had also witnessed a decline in October. Prime Minister Theresa May had then said she would begin Brexit negotiations with the EU by the end of March 2017 and had suggested a tough approach in the talks.

The current confidence levels come ahead of May's Brexit-related speech scheduled later today. She is expected to unveil 12 negotiating objectives for the UK government in central London while rejecting a "half-in, half-out" Brexit.

The latest survey of 500 executives is not all positive and showed that investment expectations among these businesses declined month-on-month in December 2016. Only 29% of the respondents said they expected to increase investments over the next 12 months, down from 31% in November.

Commenting on the same, CEBR director Scott Corfe said: "While these latest figures suggest that, for the moment at least, British businesses are weathering the immediate post-Brexit referendum storm, they are still hesitant."

"Although the majority of companies are optimistic about their own prospects and domestic sales over the coming 12 months, they are cautious about making big investments at the moment."