Confederation of British Industry

UK Businesses to be Hit with “£29bn in Extra Costs”

UK Businesses to be Hit with “£29bn in Extra Costs”

UK small businesses will be hit with over £29bn in extra costs following the introduction of new government policies, research by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has claimed. The national living wage and apprenticeship levy are among new legislation which business owners believe will have a negative effect on small enterprises. The flagship schemes, being introduced in April 2016 and 2017 respectively, are said to cost British businesses around £9bn every year by 2020-21 when added to existing costs. The findings are a stark contrast to an earlier promise that the government would cut at least £10bn in red tape for small businesses over the next five years. Earlier this year, it was reported that small enterprises in Scotland and other lower paying areas would be the most affec... »

UK Economic Growth Slowest in Three Years

UK Economic Growth Slowest in Three Years

The UK’s economic growth is at its lowest in three years, according to a report by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI). The survey of 759 respondents across the manufacturing, retail and services sectors, showed the pace of growth has dropped to its slowest rate since May 2013. Last week official figures put UK growth at 0.5% in the last quarter of 2015, the slowest for three years. The slowdown was mainly driven by the business and professional services sector – which includes management, legal services and telecoms. In the manufacturing sector, output and new orders were flat, but growth in the consumer services sector remained consistent, and retail sales volumes grew at an above average pace. Despite the negative trend, the outlook for businesses over the next three months is m... »

Small Businesses Export Rates Hit Lowest Level Since Recession

Small Businesses Export Rates Hit Lowest Level Since Recession

UK small business export orders are at the lowest level since 2009, with domestic orders also down for the first time in two years – new research from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has found. The data revealed that almost half (46%) of small businesses say their export rates have fallen, with only 10% of firms experiencing an increase. Small business owners attributed the fall in exports to pricing constraints and 12% believe that export prices will continue to fall over the coming months. The survey, which featured small business manufacturers, also found that small business confidence is down with 29% of respondents admitting they are less optimistic about the situation of their company. The news comes with just one week until the UKTI-backed Export Week, which is a week-lo... »

BCC: Interest Rates Must Not be Raised in April

Revised government figures which revealed the UK economy is doing slightly better than expected are not a signal to raise interest rates, the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has warned. According to updated  Office of National Statistics (ONS) figures, the UK economy contracted by 0.5 per cent in the last quarter of 2010, not 0.6 per cent as previously published. The revision means that GDP in the fourth quarter of 2010 is now 1.5 per cent higher than over the same period in 2009. British Chamber of Commerce chief economist, David Kern, said it was reassuring to know the underlying position wasn’t as bad as feared, but that the Bank of England should remain firm on interest rates so as not to destabilise the economy. “We can be reasonably confident that the recovery will con... »

Brits taking less Sickies

Brits taking less Sickies

Employees took 180 million sick days last year, averaging 6.4 days each, according to the latest CBI/Pfizer Absence and Workplace Health Survey. The rate of absence is the lowest since the survey began in 1987, and down slightly from 6.7 days per employee in 2007, the previous surveyed year. A small improvement in the public-sector absence rate helps explain the fall, but it remains significantly higher than the private-sector rate. The impact of staff absence is considerable, with the 180 million sick days costing employers about £16.8bn in 2009, plus indirect costs like reductions in customer service and delays to teamwork. Unfortunately, so-called "sickies" remain a problem. The senior HR staff surveyed at 241 public and private-sector organisations estimated that around... »

SMEs Sign “no NIC rise” Petition

SMEs Sign “no NIC rise” Petition

Business groups have called on small firms to sign an online petition demanding that the Government scraps its planned National Insurance Contributions (NICs) rise in April 2011. As part of its efforts to shrink the large public spending deficit, the Government intends to raise NICs by 1 percentage point in April 2011. But the decision has angered business leaders who see it as a “tax on jobs”, which could jeopardise an upturn in the labour market by discouraging businesses from taking on new staff. The British Chambers of Commerce, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), the Confederation of British Industry and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) are among the organisations all opposed to the increase. “We urge the Government to work with busin... »

Sales Fall

Retail sales plummet in early January

High–street sales fell for the tenth month in a row in January 2009 and are expected to decline further in February, according to the Confederation of British Industry (CBI). Their research found that 63% of retailers reported a drop in sales in the first two weeks of January compared with the same period last year, while just 16% reported a rise. More than half the retailers surveyed predicted that sales would fall further in February. CBI chief economic adviser Ian McCafferty said: “Most of the retail sector continues to struggle as the recession bites more deeply, and February will be tough,” “Later this year we hope to see some benefit from recent interest rate cuts, falling inflation, and the Government’s steps to kick–start lending. But retailers w... »

Overtime

Record amount of unpaid overtime recorded last year

More than five million UK employees worked unpaid overtime last year – the highest amount since 2001, according to the Trades Union Congress (TUC). TUC research revealed that the total value of unpaid labour in the UK in 2008 was £26.9 billion – equivalent to an average of approximately seven hours per employee. According to TUC secretary Brendan Barber, while some staff will inevitably be working longer hours to protect themselves against the risk of redundancy, or to help keep their employer in business, employers should be wary of the potentially harmful side–effects of working long hours. “Long hours are bad for people’s health, and employers should never forget that each extra hour worked makes people less productive once they are over a sensible wo... »

Recession

Recession until end of 2009

The UK recession will be ‘deeper and longer’ than first predicted, according to the Confederation of British Industry (CBI). The CBI has revised its September economic forecast that the economy would grow by 0.3% next year, and has now predicted that it will instead contract by 1.7%. The business group has also forecast that the recession is likely to last until the end of 2009 and that unemployment will reach 2.9 million by 2010. CBI deputy director–general John Cridland said: “What is clear is that the short and shallow recession we had hoped for a matter of months ago is now likely to be deeper and longer lasting,” “Given the speed and force at which the downturn has hit the economy, we have reassessed and downgraded our expectations for UK economic g... »

Inflation pushes SME costs up a quarter

Rising inflation has resulted in ten per cent of small businesses seeing their costs rise by more than a quarter in the last 12 months, according to credit rating firm Creditsafe. The research from Creditsafe also revealed that 26 per cent of small firms have seen their costs increase by at least ten per cent over the same period, and 60 per cent of small businesses have experienced some degree of cost increase in the last year. “Businesses are faced by rampant business inflation, as the costs of fuel and borrowing increase dramatically,” said Creditsafe managing director Simon Camilleri. “They are also faced with the prospect of employees demanding inflation–busting pay rises to cover the costs of increasing petrol and food costs. “If inflation continues to r... »