Small Business Confidence Higher Than Ever – But Will Trump Victory And Brexit Change It All?

Optimism among small firms is at a high for 2016, but it's suggested the surprise Trump victory could change small business outlook

Small Business Confidence Higher Than Ever – But Will Trump Victory And Brexit Change It All?

UK small business confidence is at an all-time high for 2016, according to a report by Hitachi Capital Business Finance.

The survey of 1,006 small and medium sized enterprises revealed that small firm optimism increased by 11% on Q3, with 43% of all respondents saying they were in a buoyant mood about the coming months.

In contrast, the number of enterprises worried about their outlook during the October to December months matched the lowest numbers recorded for 2016, and small business pessimism is also at its lowest in two years.

Despite the increased optimism, it’s been suggested that the surprise election of Donald Trump as US president today could hamper any long term positive feelings in the small business space.

Charles Reilly, director of Fridgesmart, believes that while UK exporting could pick up on the back of Trump’s election, global political uncertainty could damage businesses’ outlook:

“Any changes to international trade deals could be a good thing for companies over here in the wake of Brexit when we’re planning to renegotiate too.

Uncertainty is the biggest threat to small business; not knowing is worse than knowing and then being able to get on with things so the sooner we hear his plans the better.”

Ohio-born Jean Liggett, CEO of UK’s Properties of the World, believes that while Trump’s victory is likely to cause market trepidation around the world, it could result in more businesses turning their attention to the UK:

“Trump’s victory may well prove beneficial for the UK property market, as investors seek to migrate their portfolios from the US to a more secure and predictable market – the UK. This may even mean that the sterling could rise in value.

Under Trump’s stewardship, ‘predictable’ may need to be removed from the US English dictionary for the next four years. Only time will tell how the US property market – and others around the world – respond to his election victory.”

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