Hitachi Capital

39% of small business owners predict growth for next three months

Confidence among UK SMEs has continued to hold firm for the fourth consecutive quarter in Q1 2018, according to the latest research.

Data from the British Business Barometer conducted by Hitachi Capital Business Finance found that the outlook for SMEs remained bullish over the past 12 months, despite the huge uncertainty over Brexit negotiations.

Overall, 39% of SME owners predicted growth for the three months to 31st March 2018 – a small increase on Q4 2017 and little change on the same period last year.

The research revealed that SMEs from the tech and telecoms sector were the most confident and most likely to predict growth for the coming months (52%).

The biggest rise in confidence over the past 12 months was reported in the transport and distribution sector, up 13% to 35%.

The biggest fall in confidence was reported in the finance and accounting sector, down 9% to 42%.

The percentage of small businesses that predict growth in the three months to 31st March 2018 by industry sector - the results in comparison over three and 12 months 

Overall, 70% of SMEs identified strategies that they were pursuing to secure growth in the upcoming months.

Some 36% focused on keeping costs down, while 19% were aiming to improve their cash flow, with a further 13% planning to invest in new equipment.

“A day barely seems to go past without warnings about the UK’s economic future: Brexit seems to have created an entire industry selling doom,” said Gavin Wraith-Carter, managing director at Hitachi Capital Business Finance (pictured above).

“The day-to-day reality with small businesses is quite different.

“Many are fully aware there will be a Brexit ripple that affects them at some point, but the majority of small business owners are being very pragmatic, planning ahead and focusing on what is within their control.

“Some sectors see market uncertainty as an opportunity, many businesses are already looking to open up new markets and, across the board, SMEs are key for employment and job creation.

“Access to finance is key to helping all these plans happen and at Hitachi Capital Business Finance we will be broadening our range of finance solutions in 2018 to help more small businesses secure the funding they need to power growth, invest in equipment and fulfil their potential.”

Hitachi Capital Business Finance recently introduced VAT funding

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