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And a fifth of UK businesses may seek a move to Europe

Half of European CFO’s expect to reduce their activity in the UK as a result of the Brexit vote, the latest round of the Global Business Outlook Survey reveals.

The new findings also show that nearly a fifth of British-based CFO’s will consider moving their central operations to Europe following the outcome of the referendum in June.

In addition, over 30% of respondents feel less optimistic about their country’s economy since the last quarter survey (completed June 3rd 2016).

The survey of more than 1,200 CFOs and other finance executives, which ended September 9th 2016, has been conducted each quarter for more than 20 years and spans the globe, making it the world’s longest-running and most comprehensive research on senior finance executives. It is conducted by the Grenoble Ecole de Management, Fuqua School of Business at Duke University, CFO Magazine and Tilburg University.

Commenting on the survey, Professor Philippe Dupuy of Grenoble Ecole de Management says: “It is clear that the UK’s decision to leave the European Union has left both UK and European business less sure of the opportunities the UK economy can offer them.

The top concerns cited by European CFO’s include political uncertainty, weak demand, currency risk and regulation.

In addition to European political uncertainty, across in the US the upcoming Presidential election is triggering a slowdown in investment. The survey finds at least 33 percent of CFOs, regardless of who is elected, say that they will hold back on investment after the election as they wait to see how the new president will govern.

“Political uncertainty in Europe and the US has the potential to significantly affect global investments as business leaders hold back on big decisions until after the US election and Brexit negotiations begin,” Professor Dupuy notes.