Business confidence on the rise among SMEs

A new study suggests that confidence among British small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) rose slightly at the beginning of 2018.

According to new figures from the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), business confidence rose notably in January, but remained in “negative territory.”

The group’s latest UK Business Confidence Monitor (BCM) saw Britain’s ‘confidence index’ rise from -3.4 to -1.0, suggesting “modest GDP growth in Q1,” the ICAEW said.

Its report also found that sales growth was “drifting gradually upwards” and that investment in staff development was “starting to pick-up” among SMEs at the beginning of the year.

Interestingly, the report comes at a time when the Government is anticipating a gloomy outlook for the UK over coming months.

Last week, official documents were leaked suggesting that Britain’s economy would be adversely affected by the nation’s upcoming departure from the European Union (EU).

Since then, however, many economists have argued otherwise – with one influential think tank lifting its growth forecast for the UK on Monday (5 February).

Its report revised the group’s UK GDP estimate for 2018 to 1.7 per cent, up from the 1.4 per cent previously forecast towards the end of last year.