UK SME Confidence Index September 2017 ________________
SME confidence drops quarter on quarter, as Brexit continues to douse the flames of UK business growth.
Business growth: One in four SMEs say the most negative impact Brexit has had to date is on both their planned business growth (25%) and planned investments (23%)
Employment: Quarter on quarter, SMEs are pushing back plans to increase the total number of employees - an increasing number acknowledge they won’t increase the number of employees at all in the next 12 months (43%, up from 36% in Q2)
But SMEs are quietly confident in bottom line: Despite the Brexit repercussions, SMEs remain confident that profitability will improve (54% - up 3% on Q2) and that sales revenue will increase (70% - same as Q2). And whilst faith in the economy over the next 12 months remains low, the numbers that expect things to get worse are on the decline (46% compared to 50% in Q2)
Confidence in business growth: For their own businesses, 70% are confident that sales will increase over the next 12 months but those anticipating profitability has fallen to 51% from 54%
Low faith in economy: When it comes to faith in the economy, 50% confirm that economic conditions will decline for them over the next 12 months, up four percent on the last quarter. Just 8% are optimistic