A new report by Capital Economics for Amazon and entrepreneur network, Enterprise Nation has found that British small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have increased their growth projections for a third successive quarter.
UK-based SMEs now anticipate achieving 2.3 per cent revenue growth in the next 12 months. The report also found that small business confidence has strengthened in the last quarter, rising to a score of three points in Q1 2017, up from minus four in Q4 2016.
Nevertheless, the broader view of the national economy from UK small businesses is still one of concern. More than three-quarters (78 per cent) of SMEs surveyed said higher price inflation is a genuine risk to their business in the coming months and are expecting to have to increase their own prices by two per cent in the next year.
The only sector to forecast the UK economy to improve in the coming 12 months is the manufacturing industry. However, small businesses working in financial services forecast the biggest revenue growth of 3.1 per cent during the next year, followed by hospitality and transport SMEs (2.7 per cent) and health and education firms (2.6 per cent).
Simon Johnson, UK director of seller services, Amazon, believes the figures demonstrate a “rebound in confidence amongst British SMEs” following a “significant decline in December”.
Emma Jones, founder, Enterprise Nation, said: “The SME community powers Britain’s economy and continues to show resilience in the face of uncertain times, but the government must take heed of increasing concerns about the negative impact of rising supply costs on small business.
“This year in particular, they are facing increasing responsibility for a number of issues including auto-enrolment for pensions.
“We want to make sure the government understands the important role they play in the British economy and listens with conviction to their opportunities and challenges.”