The Institute of Directors is calling on the government to deliver a "feel-good" Autumn Statement as confidence in Britain's economy continues to falter.
An IoD survey of more than 1,000 business leaders shows that firms are worried about the economy but more optimistic about their own outlook.
IoD director-general Simon Walker said: "Even though they think their organisations are still fundamentally sound, business leaders are worried about what the next few months hold for the UK economy. It shows the fragile nature of confidence that despite our members expecting profits to increase, overall business investment looks set to stagnate - if nothing changes.
“We need the government to produce a bumper, feel-good Autumn Statement. Increasing tax breaks for investment and cutting corporation tax would be a very good start, as would delaying the poorly designed Apprenticeship Levy."