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Small businesses less confident

Small businesses less confident

Small business confidence has slumped to its lowest level since sterling's withdrawal from the European exchange rate mechanism, according to 3i, the UK's biggest venture capital group.

The latest quarterly survey by its Enterprise Barometer, covering over 400 client companies, shows that most respondents remain confident about their own prospects, but optimism concerning the general climate has slipped for the fourth quarter in a row.

The index now stands at a positive balance of 17, against 45 in the previous three months.

Results, page 26