According to the Business Barometer, a regular report by serviced office provider Business Environment, a majority of firms (70 per cent) expected their sector to grow in the coming quarter; just over half were either “confident” or “very confident” in the UK economy’s prospects over the first three months of 2013 and nearly a third said they expected their business to expand.
One finding was that the smaller the firm, the more positive they were about their business’ future. Nearly 70 per cent of firms between one and nine employees were either “positive” or “very positive” about the longevity of their firm, compared to 66 per cent of firms with between 10 and 49 employees, a similar number of firms between 50 and 99 employees, and slightly less firms between 100 and 249 employees. For firms with more than 250 employees, the figure was just 54 per cent.
This comes after a final quarter of 2012 in which businesses reported overwhelming stability.
When asked what their turnover was compared to the preceding quarter, more than half of respondents (62 per cent) reported that it remained the same. Similarly, when asked whether the number of employees in their firm had changed over the past quarter, the most frequent reply was that headcounts had remained constant (48 choosing this option).
David Saul, managing director of Business Environment, said: “One of the main messages to come from the report was that while few companies are thriving, a large amount are on an even keel. Nearly half a decade after the beginning of the financial crisis, the initial fallout is now over and businesses are beginning to adjust to a long period of austerity and reduced consumer demand.”
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Susie Hughes © Shout99 2013