Half of UK SMEs eyeing up imminent revenue growth, study finds

50 per cent of UK small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) expect to achieve revenue growth of 4 per cent or more before the end of the year, a new study suggests.

The figures come from the latest American Express Global SME Pulse Survey, which found that businesses all over the world are optimistic about their performance throughout 2017.

It found that half of UK SMEs are feeling particularly confident at the minute, despite a backdrop of political and economic uncertainty following the recent triggering of Article 50.

However, a separate study commissioned by high street bank Barclays suggests that some British businesses might not feeling so optimistic.

Barclays’ latest Small Business Cost Index found that basic costs for the average SME have risen by 3.2 per cent over the last year – and that 59 per cent of firms feel unprepared to manage predicted fluctuations in inflation.

63 per cent of SMEs quizzed said that they would be forced to increase their prices if inflation rises again, while 17 per cent of businesses said that they would be afraid to do so under the circumstances.

The Index found that businesses with ten employees or more were the most likely to increase their prices – with 77 per cent claiming that they would take such action, comparable with just 42 per cent of sole traders.