Small business confidence improved in Q2

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Business confidence has increased across the UK in recent months

The latest Small Business Index from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has highlighted a marked increase in the confidence of company leaders during the second quarter of the year.

Produced on behalf of the FSB by the Centre for Economic and Business Research (Cebr), the report showed the largest ever proportion of businesses planning to invest and grow during the coming three months at 65.3 per cent.

Furthermore, confidence levels among small business operators rose to +37.9 in the second quarter (up from +28.7 in Q1), while the proportion of companies reporting growth in both revenues and profits rose from 17.4 to 24.1 per cent over the same period.

The FSB was therefore extremely pleased with the positive sentiment being demonstrated across many segments of industry, although the results did show that sustained recovery and business confidence is not evenly spread across the nation at present.

Indeed, the report revealed the south-east of England continues to dominate in business confidence, followed by the west and east Midlands. Business confidence was actually shown to be down in both Scotland and Wales in the last quarter.

John Allan, national chairman of the FSB, commented: "It is critical the new government continues to develop the right environment to support businesses planning to grow, invest and take on new staff in the next 12 months.

"In the Budget and its upcoming Enterprise Bill, ministers should prioritise supporting small business growth, simplify business taxes, raise skills and tackle poor payment practices."

Meanwhile, managing economist at Cebr Rob Harbron added that strong capital investment intentions and increased worker productivity are encouraging signs for further improvement in the months ahead, while the prosperity of the small business segment will play a crucial role in ensuring positive economic growth for the nation as a whole in 2015.