Finance firms face challenges
FINANCE: Business volumes and income fell unexpectedly in the three months to September, driving the first fall in profitability since June 2009.
Of the 104 companies which responded to the CBI/PwC survey, 30 per cent saw business volumes rise, and 49 per cent reported a fall.
The resultant rounded balance (of -19per cent) represents the first fall in business volumes since June 2009.
Matthew Fell, CBI director for Competitive Markets, said: "The financial services sector has faced a tough quarter, with sales volumes unexpectedly falling and average costs rising, thus denting profits. Sentiment about the business situation also continued to fall.
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"Nevertheless, companies expect this recent weakness in activity to be temporary, and anticipate that growth in business volumes and incomes will return to positive territory next quarter.
"However, uncertainty about demand, heightened by the need to fully resolve the ongoing Eurozone crisis, and the looming US fiscal cliff, means that firms are scaling back their investment intentions for the coming year and reducing headcount."