SME confidence climbs

Posted on 15 May 2024
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Small business confidence climbs

Confidence among small businesses climbed in the first three months of the year, according to an index from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB). The index returned to positive territory for the first time in two years after business confidence increased by 20 points between January and March. The increase took the balance of firms feeling confident to 5.5 points, with manufacturing the most confident sector at 19.1 points. On challenges they face, 83.7% of small businesses said that their operating costs had increased compared with the first three months of last year, driven by rising utility and labour costs. Tina McKenzie, policy chair at the FSB, said that seeing small business confidence back in positive territory β€œis a relief, after two years of it being underwater, and following on from a particularly difficult end to last year.” She added: β€œThe rebound in confidence levels in most sectors is a good indicator that the shallow recession recorded at the end of 2023 is firmly in the past, and small businesses are keen to look ahead to expansion and better trading conditions.”

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