A survey carried out by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has suggested that the UK economy is 'stuck in a rut', with economic growth 'flatlining'.
The BCC also found that Brexit uncertainty has helped to 'weaken' confidence amongst firms.
The survey of 5,600 UK businesses suggested that the percentage of services firms attempting to recruit is at its 'lowest level for 25 years'. Export sales and orders are also at their lowest level since the EU referendum in 2016.
Meanwhile, the percentage of businesses in the manufacturing sector reporting an increase in domestic and export sales and orders fell to its lowest level in two years. Many UK manufacturers expect their prices to increase, with 81% predicting that the cost of raw materials will be the main driver behind any price rises.
Commenting on the survey, Dr Adam Marshall, Director General of the BCC, said: 'The upcoming Budget must deliver radical, decisive action to boost growth and productivity at precisely the moment that the economy needs it most.
'There has never been a more important time for the government to bolster business investment, competitiveness and productivity in the face of significant Brexit headwinds.'