Confidence among business leaders has remained unchanged in November 2021, according to the Institute of Directors' economic confidence index.

Currently measuring -6, the index suggests slightly more business leaders are negative than positive about future prospects for the UK, but the situation has stabilised after sharp falls in confidence in autumn.

According to the index, optimism measured +22 in July 2021 before tumbling to -1 in September and -6 in October.

An increasing number of business leaders said the cost of energy (38% of respondents) and employment taxes (40% of respondents) were having a negative impact on their business, while 42% cited the pandemic as a negative factor - down from 75% in January 2021.

Kitty Ussher, chief economist of the IoD, said:

"The economy is now in a Catch-22 position: growth into 2022 depends critically on private sector investment, but many business leaders are nervous about committing that investment when the UK economic outlook remains uncertain.

"On the plus side, our economic confidence index stopped its fall in November, but with concerns around inflation, high energy prices, continuing staff shortages and the forthcoming rise in employers' NICs, the mood music is not yet sufficiently cheerful to reverse the decline of previous months."

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