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11 January 2017

Small business confidence bounces back to pre-referendum level

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) reveals today that UK small business confidence in the last quarter bounced back to the level reported before the EU referendum campaign began. FSB’s Small Business Index (SBI) has now moved into positive territory, which means that more small businesses feel confident than those that feel the opposite.

The headline confidence measure now stands at +8.5, up from -2.9 in the previous quarter and reaching almost exactly the same level as it stood at the start of 2016 at +8.6. This survey confirms that at the start of 2017, the UK’s small firms are upbeat about their prospects.

Mike Cherry, National Chairman at the Federation of Small Businesses, said:

We are delighted to see confidence bounce back at the end of 2016, effectively wiping out the fall we saw over the course of the year in the run-up to the EU referendum and its immediate fallout.  The current economic outlook seems brighter, and UK small businesses are ambitious and want to make the most of it. Small exporters continue their strong rise, as UK goods and services become more competitive overseas and small businesses go out to find new markets and new customers.” 

Although confidence is positive and there are areas of strong performance, most small firms are not seeing this feeding through to profits. Profitability has dropped for the second quarter in a row. In addition, investment intentions remain subdued and have fallen compared to last year with costs of doing business continuing to rise. This must not be allowed to threaten future business activity. 

For the full press release, click here

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