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Brexit could hit enterprise investment plans

Deloitte's latest quarterly quizzing of the CFO community makes sobering reading for those hoping that the good times will keep rolling

The pressure to try and get some sort of Brexit deal is reaching a crescendo and adding to the pressure is the prospect that UK firms could pull back on investments because of the uncertainty about the future.

Talk to people across a wide spectrum of sectors in the channel and most will tell you that this year is on track to be a good one in terms of revenues.

A lot of that income is being generated by customers looking for help with digital transformation projects but according to Deloitte the mood among CFOs is to pull back on spending.

The firm found that as the planned departure from the EU gets closer the mood in the business community has darkened.

"CFOs have become more pessimistic about the long term effect of the UK’s departure from the EU," said Ian Stewart, chief economist at Deloitte.

The firm's latest quarterly CFO survey, covering Q3, found that only 6% of those quizzed thought that Brexit would improve the business climate.

"Large corporates are pulling in their horns, with just 12% of CFOs saying now is good time to take a risk and 44% expecting their own capital spending to be lower over the next three years," he added.

There are also fears that those suffering from existing skill shortages will only find life more difficult when immigration policies change.

“Our survey shows that access to skills is an increasingly pressing issue. It’s crucial that a post-Brexit immigration system ensures that business has the skills it needs to thrive," said David Sproul, senior partner and chief executive at Deloitte.

The channel has been largely silent on Brexit and its implications but there is a sense that the warnings that have plagued other sectors, notably automotive and financial, have started to be sounded closer to home.

Last week the prospect that those providing application development testing and maintenance would find things getting more difficult post March 2019 was outlined in a report from Information Services Group.

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