SME confidence remains high
Business confidence amongst SMEs surveyed for this year’s Albion Growth Report remains high, with six-in-10 (61%) reporting that they expect to grow over the next two years and only 4% saying that they will contract.
The research also shows that challenges faced by SMEs are now much more likely to be related to building the business in order to take on the opportunities in a more confident economic marketplace, than to securing bank finance.
Medium-sized businesses, which have less than 250 employees, are more optimistic about the future than smaller companies (less than 50 employees) with 75% predicting growth and there are differences between industry sectors as well. Notably, two-thirds (66%) of manufacturing companies expect to grow compared to just under half (48%) of construction firms.
Optimism is fairly well-matched across the regions, with 66% of companies in the South East and the same proportion in Yorkshire predicting that they will grow over the next two years, slightly more than the 64% of companies based in London. Scotland (57%) and Wales (56%) remain lower than average.