Statistics released by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) suggest that the last quarter of 2019 was tough for UK businesses with "protracted weakness across most indicators of economic health".

The BCC's Quarterly Economic Survey suggests that the service sector in particular has struggled, with all key indicators worse compared to the third quarter of 2019.

Indicators for manufacturing and export orders have been negative for two quarters in a row - the first time this has happened since 2011. The proportion of manufacturers planning investment in plant and machinery is at an eight-year low.

The report shows a slight improvement in cashflow which had previously dipped to its lowest level in eight years.

Suren Thiru, Head of Economics at the BCC, said:

"The UK economy limped through the final quarter of 2019.

"The fourth quarter was characterised by a broad-based slowdown in the dominant services sector with all key indicators weakening in the quarter, amid sluggish household expenditure and crippling cost pressures.

"Despite some improvements, indicators in the manufacturing sector remain very weak by historic standards, and with indicators for domestic and export orders continuing to contract, the near-term outlook for the sector remains challenging."

Talk to us about managing your business's cashflow.