FSB 'Voice of Small Business' Index
The FSB ‘Voice of Small Business' Index has been created from the views of small firms from the FSB survey panel. The report is produced by the centre for economic and business research. It provides a macro-economic picture of the UK economy from the point of view of, you, the small business owner.
The Index looks at capacity levels, employment, revenues and the confidence of small firms. It also provides information on regional businesses with a breakdown by sector across the UK.
These quarterly surveys will give us the information we need to make sure your views are heard by Government.
The report showed a welcome increase in confidence, moving from a negative reading of -5.6 in Q4 2012 to +6.3 in the first quarter of 2013. However, this optimism was tempered with caution as fewer businesses expect to grow this year – down from 56 per cent in Q1 2012 to 54 per cent in 2013.
While the Small Business Index – the measure of confidence in the sector – fell by 1.1 points against Q3 to record a score of -5.6, it is some 18.8 points higher than Q4 last year – just as the economy entered into double-dip recession.
Confidence fell into negative territory for the first time since Q4 2011 with the Index at -4.5. More firms are being refused credit but 50 per cent of firms want to grow in the coming 12 months.
More than four in 10 small firms were refused finance from high street banks as confidence dipped by 0.9 to 1.3 as they continued to feel pressure from rising overheads.
Confidence rebounded to 2.2 after plummeting at the end of 2011. And more businesses are looking to take on staff with a net balence of 1.2 per cent expecting to employ over the coming three months.