Confidence amongst UK finance chiefs has hit a one-year low on the back of austerity measures pushed through in the Budget and mounting fears of a slow-down in global growth.
According to a Deloitte survey, just 24% of CFOs were optimistic in the second quarter, compared to 40% in the previous quarter - the lowest level in a year.
Concerns over prospects for global growth run high, with the average CFO estimating the likelihood of a double-dip recession at 38%.
Such fears have been heightened by recent market volatility, with last week's disappointing economic data from China and the US rattling investors.
Government-imposed austerity measures have also impacted sentiment, with two-thirds expecting deficit reduction measures to negatively impact their companies in the short-term.
Despite the Office for Budget Responsibility forecasting growth of 1.2% this year, the outlook for the UK economy remains uncertain, with concern the manufacturing revival could be short-lived.
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