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), focusing instead on managing their existing talent.
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