More companies losing confidence

business confidence fell last month, with just a third of firms expressing increased optimism about economic prospects, a study showed.

Those expressing optimism fell from 46 per cent in July, while 37 per cent said they were less hopeful, up from 27 per cent, a survey of more than 300 companies by Lloyds Bank showed.

The slump followed another fall in July, suggesting weaker UK economic growth prospects in the second half of the year than previously anticipated, said Lloyds.

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Trevor Williams, chief economist at Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets, said: “The fall in business confidence in our latest survey reflects concerns about slowing global growth, the US ratings downgrade and the ongoing euro area sovereign debt crisis.

“Although businesses indicated that economic prospects have weakened, they remain positive regarding trading prospects for the year ahead. We expect the economy to continue to expand in the second half of this year.”

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