Best outlook for small businesses in 5 years

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) have released the 2015 Q2 version of the Small Business Index, a measure of small business confidence in the UK.

While confidence is slightly down from the all time high last year, small businesses are in a “robust” mood and looking to grow more than ever.

The research says that two-thirds of firms are looking to grow moderately or rapidly over the next three months. This is the highest figure since the Index began in 2010.

A third are planning to increase capital investment in their businesses over the next 12 months, and there’s been a jump in businesses hiring new people, from 2% last year to nearly 9% this year.

But many also mentioned that not being able to find the skilled workers they need is a barrier to growth.

Finances are also looking strong; Around 24% of small businesses said they had increased revenues and 17% report higher profits.

Wage increases are now in line with the economy’s average of 1.9% and there’s a reported rise in small firms who are exporting.

The most confident region in the UK is the south east, followed by the west and the midlands, the Index said.

Rob Harbron, managing economist at Cebr, said the results “give much cause for confidence”. He went on to state that “the UK's small business population will be instrumental in supporting economic growth in 2015."

Mr. Harbron added:

"Strong capital investment intentions and increased worker productivity are encouraging as they play a key role in a sustainable economic growth path,”

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