Small Businesses Have Enjoyed Strongest Q1 Performance Since 2008

Data from Bibby Financial Services indicates strong rate of recovery among small firms

Small businesses have recorded the highest level of output in the first quarter since 2008, according to new findings.

Bibby Financial Services has tracked turnover data of its 4,000 clients across five key sectors: manufacturing, construction, transport, wholesale and business services. The data suggests that small and medium-sized businesses in the UK enjoyed the strongest level of activity, year-on-year, for six years.

Firms in the manufacturing sector recorded the highest level of activity for a first quarter, but construction firms have suffered the lowest activity level since Q1 2009.

However Bibby has noted that the first quarter ended with a surge of activity coinciding with Chancellor George Osborne’s announcement that the Help to Buy scheme would remain in place for the rest of the decade.

David Postings, UK Chief Executive at BFS, said: “The Business Factors Index provides a clear indication of the rate of recovery being felt by UK businesses.”

He added that increasing numbers of businesses are using invoice finance to fund their businesses, and called for owners to review their funding methods while banks continue to reduce finance available.

He said: “The banks obviously provide a vital service to the UK economy but too often businesses are pushing against closed doors when applying for finance.

“At this stage of recovery, we need to nurture and stimulate activity – not prevent it.”

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