The fall is most noticeable in London and the East of England, but all regions of the UK have seen declines. Scotland and Northern Ireland are the least confident areas overall.
Sandra Dexter, FSB vice-chairman, said: “Small business confidence has clearly faltered, which is why the welcome small business focus in the Budget is so important. We need a renewed push for growth and productivity – with policy makers delivering a sustained package of support for ambitious small firms.
“The Budget included a number of important measures to help smaller businesses, particularly changes to business rates which will see many small businesses taken out of paying rates altogether. Delivering on tax simplification measures will be vital – as will be pressing ahead with new investment in much needed infrastructure. Taken together these measures should help to boost confidence and help small firms to grow and succeed.”