Survey Shows Small Businesses are More Confident Than Ever

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18th September 2014 15:38 - Business Support

Small businesses in the UK are more confident than ever, according to the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) Small Business Index.

For the third quarter of 2014, the FSB Index reached +41 points - the first time sentiment has reached this level with every sector recording a positive outlook for the upcoming three months.

Of the 2,137 small businesses who responded to the survey, six in 10 (61%) said they expected to grow in the forthcoming three months, with around one in 10 (11%) predicting a rapid growth spurt over the same period of time. This is now the seventh consecutive year small businesses have been optimistic about their outlook.

Regionally, the South East is the most positive area in the UK with a confidence score of +52 points, and in the latest edition of the Index the North East put down the greatest gains compared to a year ago.

One third (33%) of the businesses surveyed expect their turnover to grow in the next quarter and almost one fifth (17%) expect profits to rise too.

Financial services remain the most confident sector (+62), while most improvement was witnessed in health and social work, and in the hospitality industry.

Recruitment intentions are at an all-time high, with a net balance of +5% of small businesses having increased their staff-count in the third quarter of 2014 - a trend that is predicted to continue in the next quarter too.

John Allan, National Chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, said: "We're seeing record breaking confidence from our members which suggests small firms will continue to spearhead the UK's recovery. We want policy makers to lock in this optimism and continue to back the self employed and small businesses. As we head in to party conference season, we'll be looking to all the political parties to spell out what they will do to encourage job creation, investment and reward entrepreneurs in the next Parliament."

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