London — British retailers plan the least investment in seven years ahead of the country’s departure from the EU, and job cuts in the business sector have gathered pace, a major survey showed on Friday. Though retailers were the most upbeat about the general business situation in more than two years, Brexit and longer-term structural changes were casting a shadow, according to the quarterly survey from the Confederation of British Industry. The investment intentions balance plunged to -33 in February from -3 in November, the lowest since February 2012, when Britain’s economy was still trying to shake off the after-effects of the global financial crisis. The survey’s employment balance was its weakest since August 2017 at -30. Numerous surveys have shown businesses are holding off on investment while Britain remains at risk of leaving the EU on March 29 without an interim trade deal. Official data for the three months to December published earlier in February showed the biggest fall ...

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