Traders pessimistic about business outlook

Retail and distribution companies are doubtful that the Olympics and Jubilee will significantly boost their performance this year, according to a survey of small and medium sized companies.

The survey, commissioned by AXA Business Insurance, found that more than three quarters (78%) of respondents representing retail and distribution companies believe the expected increase in visitors to London will have no effect whatsoever on their trading.

Moreover, 14% of respondents think events might actually have an adverse effect on trading; with only 9% optimistic that there will be a positive impact on their business.

Respondents to the survey maintained a conservative outlook with regard to the growth of their business over the next six months, with only just over a third (35%) expressing some sense of optimism and only 7% suggesting they were planning on hiring any new employees this year. A majority (64%) were also forecasting a lower profit this year, compared with last.

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