A new poll by Populus for the British Chambers of Commerce has found that the business outlook for 2008 is depressed and that confidence in the Government's ability to successfully manage the economy has declined.

All questions (poll results below) show that a majority of businesses believe that both the UK and World economies are not going to perform as strongly in 2008 as they did in 2007.  In the context of the UK, businesses believe that prices are going to rise and that inflation will be a problem in 2008.

It is also clear that 2007 was a bad year for the Government in the eyes of business, with the majority having less confidence in the Government’s ability to manage the economy and 41% believing that Cameron & Osborne would deal with the economy in a better manner than Brown & Darling.

Commenting on the results of the poll David Frost, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce, said:

“The volatility towards the end of 2007 has clearly had an impact on business confidence for 2008.  The credit crunch, the run on Northern Rock, worries about rising inflation and the let down of the proposed Capital gains Tax reforms have all taken their toll, meaning 2008 is set to be a challenging year.

“It is also clear that 2007 has seen business become more pessimistic in its views of the Government’s handling of the economy.  The reaction to the proposed Capital Gains Tax changes has been extremely negative and has undermined much of the good work that has been done by the Government in promoting an enterprise economy.”