Economic confidence in Q1 has collapsed to a record low, according to a report published by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and Institute of Management Accountants (IMA).

The report, Global Economic Conditions Survey (GECS), which has been published annually since 2009, showed that global confidence fell to its lowest levels on record, with big falls in all regions.

In the UK, the national survey of senior accountancy practitioners, who reflect the outlook of more than 2,000 businesses they advise, found that confidence has fallen by 8% to -45, representing a record low in the 11 year history of the research.

ACCA chief economist Michael Taylor said: “UK economic sentiment is in line with the rest of the world. Confidence fell everywhere and, in most cases, sharply and to the lowest since the survey began in 2009.

“UK government spending expectations have unsurprisingly risen sharply, with millions of businesses facing significant upheaval as they aim to access much needed funds. This particularly the case for our SME community.

“The intention for government is to provide a bridge of income so that when economic conditions improve, a recovery can be fairly quickly established. The total size of fiscal packages is very substantial, with those of the UK along with the US and Germany all worth around 10% of GDP.

“It is a measure of the scale of this crisis that concerns are being expressed that more may yet be needed.”