SME confidence slips

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Small business confidence slips in Q3Analysis by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) in Scotland shows that a quarter of business-owners believe that conditions will severely deteriorate over the next three months. The FSB’s small business confidence index for Scotland fell to -26.3 points in Q3, down from -10.5 points earlier in the year. The UK-wide index fell to -32.6 points, down 28 points on the previous quarter. A poll found that 24% of SME leaders north of the Border expect conditions to worsen over Q4, a fifth believe they’ll get slightly worse, while 11% expect a big improvement. More than half of the Scottish businesses surveyed reported a drop in revenue growth in Q3. Across the UK, one in four small firms reduced headcounts over the past quarter, while nearly a third expect to trim their workforce in the next three months.

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