Optimism increasing

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PMI uptick points to optimism NatWest’s Small Business PMI suggests optimism is increasing, with the index, which monitors output at small private sector firms in the services, construction and manufacturing industries, rising from 14.6 in April to 26.3 in May. NatWest’s principal economist Stephen Blackman said the uptick shows that “at least, the worst should be behind us.” He notes that while over a third of firms in services expect a further reduction in activity this year, fewer firms now anticipate a reduced workforce than they did in April. Mike Cherry, national chair of the Federation of Small Businesses, has urged the Government to deliver fresh support for small firms “as they evolve and adjust to the new norm.”

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