The vast majority of sole traders and freelancers in the UK are feeling increasingly positive about the prospects of the economy in the next 12 months.
That’s according to the Freelancer Confidence Index, a poll of UK freelancers, contractors and other one-person businesses, commissioned by industry body PCG, who found that just six per cent of respondents anticipated a decline in the UK economy in 2014.
The survey found that 70 per cent of independent professionals felt the economy would improve over the next year, with just over a third of respondents expecting their business to be better off.
Over the last quarter, the PCG report found that while the majority of contractors had not seen a significant change in their business (63 per cent), most had experienced a steady stream of work, with almost three-quarters (73 per cent) revealing they had not been willingly out of contract during the last three months.
Georgios Nikolaidis, economic policy adviser at PCG, said: “Due to their size and the way the sector spans almost every British industry, freelancers provide a unique and important insight into future macroeconomic trends.
“They are effectively the ‘budgie in the mine’ when it comes to our economy.”
The authors of the Freelancer Confidence Index claim that Chancellor, George Osborne’s ‘encouraging’ 2014 Budget had ‘without a doubt’ cemented freelancers’ optimism about the UK’s future economic prospects.
This follows an additional ringing endorsement of the UK economy from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), who indicated the UK will be the fastest-growing economy in the G7 this year.
The IMF predicts the UK will grow 2.9 per cent in 2014, up from January’s estimate of 2.4 per cent, with further growth of 2.5 per cent in 2015.
Andrew Walker, economics correspondent for the BBC World Service, said: “For the UK, it is yet another substantial upgrade to the IMF’s assessment of the outlook.
“Only 12 months ago, the IMF forecast 1.5 per cent growth for this year.”
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