Catering equipment suppliers are “deeply concerned” about the future, the latest CESA Business Barometer has shown.

Nearly two thirds of respondents think the overall economy will not perform as well in the next few months, though only 38% thought their own company’s sales would drop, according to the survey.

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In the three months leading up to Brexit, over half of respondents said turnover was up. However, more than 80% expect it to remain the same or drop in the coming months, compared to last year.

Looking further ahead, over 46% are nervous or pessimistic about business turnover in the next 12 months, compared to 42% who are cautiously optimistic or confident. The remainder are neutral.

“In terms of confidence, Brexit has delivered a real blow to our industry,” says Simon Frost, chair of CESA. “However, the reality over the past few months since the vote is that most CESA members are reporting steady sales.

“The Barometer shows that uncertainty over the UK’s role in Europe, along with inflation, are the two biggest concerns. Some manufacturers, as well as some foodservice operators, are putting investment on hold until there is more confidence in the way ahead. That’s understandable but we must be aware of the danger that we might talk ourselves into recession.”

The CESA Business Barometer is compiled every quarter. All CESA members can take part, for free. Any company that does take part receives a full copy of the report.