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UK business happiness reaches 18-month high

Staff Writer |
UK business morale reached an 18-month high in the fourth quarter but the uncertain outlook on Brexit meant companies were reluctant to increase investment spending.

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The survey of chief financial officers at major British companies by Deloitte showed morale in the final quarter was boosted by stronger-than-expected economic growth following the Brexit vote.

The net balance of CFOs who were more optimistic about financial prospects for their company than three months ago turned positive for the first time since mid-2015.

"Buoyed by a backdrop of continued UK growth, CFOs have become markedly more positive on the outlook for their businesses and enter 2017 in better spirits than at any time in the last 18 months," said Ian Stewart, Deloitte's chief economist.

"However, rising optimism does not represent a return to business as usual."

The long-term outlook remained uncertain with two-thirds of CFOs saying Brexit would eventually damage businesses.

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