Brexit

Foreign Shoppers Exploit Weak Pound By Spending Over £725m In UK Stores During December

Foreign Shoppers Exploit Weak Pound By Spending Over £725m In UK Stores During December

Foreign shoppers took advantage of the pound’s weak value by spending over £725m on the UK high street in December alone, according to research by Worldpay. Their study of foreign credit card transactions revealed that spending was up 22% or an extra £130m compared to Christmas 2015, with bargain-hunters from Hong Kong the biggest spenders followed by the US, United Arab Emirates and China. It’s suggested Britain’s decision to leave the EU in June was major factor in the increase in spend, with the pound dropping 8% against the dollar and 12% against the euro tempting ‘Brexit tourists’ to fly over from some good deals. This drop in value also presents an opportunity for exporters however, with oversea buyers now believing they’ll get more ‘bang for their buck’ if they buy UK goods. James F... »

Businesses Praying For ‘Soft Brexit’ As Faith In Government Weakens

Businesses Praying For ‘Soft Brexit’ As Faith In Government Weakens

UK small businesses are dreaming of a ‘soft Brexit’, as just 29% have confidence in the government’s ability to protect them after Article 50 is triggered – according to a report by CitySprint. The survey of 1,001 enterprise owners revealed that 79% feel they haven’t received enough information about the potential business impact of Britain officially leaving the EU, with 50% hoping the UK retains access to the single market in return for some concessions to the EU. Just 35% of respondents have said they support a ‘hard Brexit’ which would potentially mean the UK giving up access to the single market, while 15% said they were unsure which option they preferred. When asked what support measures they’d like the government to implement, 49% said slashed taxes, 36% said they’d like... »

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

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 exporti... »

Exporters Anticipate Growth As Picture Brightens For UK Businesses

Exporters Anticipate Growth As Picture Brightens For UK Businesses

UK exporters are anticipating extended growth for the coming months despite remaining uncertainty following the Brexit vote, according to research from the Confederation of British Industry. Their latest Industrial Trends survey has revealed that 30% of UK exporting firms believe their output will increase, in contrast to just 19% who believe the opposite. The report also reveals that 21% of businesses surveyed said export levels were running “above normal”, despite the fact that a larger number (27%) said they were achieving below average levels. Its suggested that the drop in value of the pound following the EU referendum has opened up overseas opportunities for domestic enterprises. Anna Leach, head of economic analysis and surveys at the CBI, said: “It’s good to see manufac... »

Post-Brexit, Businesses are Opting to Hire Short-Term Workers

Post-Brexit, Businesses are Opting to Hire Short-Term Workers

UK businesses are opting to employ only short-term workers with permanent hiring put on hold following Britain’s vote to leave the EU, a report from IHS Markit has claimed. A survey of 400 UK recruitment and employment firms revealed that 38% placed fewer professionals in permanent positions in July, an increase on 32% in June – representing the sharpest fall in permanent placements since May 2009. IHS Markit has suggested that the economic uncertainty caused by Brexit resut is the ‘root case’ of the recruitment freeze by some companies, with businesses uncertain about the UK’s economic future. Despite the negative trend, starting salaries for all staff increased in July with the nursing and medical care sector the most in-demand industry for permanent professionals. Kevin Green, chi... »

Research Suggests UK Economy Showed Signs of Slowing Before Brexit

Research Suggests UK Economy Showed Signs of Slowing Before Brexit

The UK economy was already showing signs of slowing down before the Brexit vote, according to a report from BDO LLP. Its Business Trends Report has revealed that “rising uncertainty” ahead of the EU referendum dragged down business output and optimism to three-year lows for the second month running. Business output – intended to reflect the order pipeline of companies over the next three months – was found to have dropped to 99.0, compared to 104.1 a year ago. Business optimism – predicting business growth over the next six months – also fell; down to 98.9 from 103.9. The UK manufacturing optimism sub-index slumped to 83.8, suggesting tough times ahead for those businesses in the manufacturing industry. Furthermore, small firms’ intentions to recruit more staff has ... »

Majority of Micro-Businesses To Vote Remain Tomorrow

Majority of Micro-Businesses To Vote Remain Tomorrow

The majority of micro-business owners and freelancers will vote for the UK to remain a member of the European Union (EU) in the referendum tomorrow, according to research from FreeAgent. In a survey of 346 micro-business owners (employing fewer than 10 staff) and freelancers, 73% of respondents said that they were not in favour of a “Brexit” and 72% said they felt leaving the EU would negatively impact the UK’s economy. Just 5% of the business owners surveyed said leaving the EU would positively affect their business, in stark contrast to the 49% who believed a Brexit would be harmful to their business. Many businesses seem ambivalent to the final outcome of the referendum; 32% of business owners were adamant that neither result would make a difference to the performance of their firm. Ed ... »

Lowering Taxes Tops ‘To-Do’ List for New Parliamentary Business Group

Lowering Taxes Tops ‘To-Do’ List for New Parliamentary Business Group

A new cross-party governmental group for UK business owners has put lowering business taxes on top of its ‘to-do’ list, business secretary Sajid Javid has announced today. The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Entrepreneurship aims to ‘give business owners a voice’ in parliament and ‘bridge the gap between entrepreneurs and politicians’. Outlining four main policy areas that it will focus on in its first year, the APPG aims to support enterprise education in schools, exporting, tax reforms and place an extra focus on female founders – with the aim of ensuring more women achieve the same business success as their male counterparts. Accompanying the launch, a new study by the secretariat of the APPG -The Entrepreneurs Network – has also revealed the policy areas of most im... »

UK Employment Growth Hits Two Year Low

UK Employment Growth Hits Two Year Low

The hiring intentions of UK businesses have hit a two-year low with the economy having witnesses the biggest monthly drop in employement grown since since the aftermath of the recession in 2008, according to a report by BDO LLP. The BDO’s latest report reveals that its ‘Employment Index’, which tracks the hiring intentions of small firms over the coming six months, has dropped from 104.8 to 102.2. The recent introduction of the National Living Wage – making employment more expensive – and uncertainty over the UK’s EU membership are suggested as possible reasons for the suspected slowdown in recruitment. Despite the negative trend, one interpretation of the data suggests that British small businesses could finally be experiencing increased productivity. Peter H... »

Small Business Owners ‘Increasingly Wary’ of Potential Brexit

Small Business Owners ‘Increasingly Wary’ of Potential Brexit

UK business owners are becoming ‘increasingly wary’ of the impact Britain’s exit from the EU (a Brexit) could have on them, according to a report by Smith & Williamson. The survey of small business owners found that 81% of respondents felt that a Brexit would negatively impact their business, up 13% from June 2015. In a worrying trend, UK economic growth has fallen by 4% with the upcoming EU referendum and unstable global economy being cited as possible causes. Despite the negative feedback, 80% of business owners said they felt that their own prospects for the next 12 months had increased over the past quarter, up 5% from the last quarter, with 74% anticipating growth (or an acquisition) in the next 12 months. Guy Rigby, head of entrepreneurial services at Smith & Williamson... »

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