U.K. Business Rebound Is Fragile as Firms Await Brexit Detail

  • YouGov/Cebr Index recovers more than half of Brexit losses
  • Businesses ‘just get on with it’ in Brexit information vacuum

It’s almost back to business as usual -- for now. 

Sentiment among U.K. executives has regained more than half the losses inflicted by the shock vote to leave the European Union, according to a survey published Friday.

The YouGov/Cebr Business Confidence Index increased to 109.7 in August, bolstered by increased exports and manufacturing as a weaker pound makes British goods more competitive on world markets.  It tumbled to 105 from 112.6 after the June 23 Brexit referendum.

Businesses and consumers have “seemingly decided to just get on with it” in the continuing absence of clarity over Britain’s actual withdrawal from the EU, Stephen Harmston, head of YouGov Reports, said in a statement. “Once the U.K. shows its hand on Brexit and invokes Article 50 things could change for the worse quickly.”

The survey is the latest to show sentiment holding up better than expected since the Brexit vote, though forecasts are for growth to slow sharply next year. On balance, firms remain pessimistic about their own prospects and the economy as a whole over the coming year.