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Medium-sized firms to lead UK growth

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In another sign of who is leading Britain’s economic growth, 50 per cent of medium-sized businesses say they plan to hire full-time employees in the next 12 months.

Micro businesses (up to nine employees) are the least positive of the bunch, with only 22% planning to increase headcount.

Almost two in five businesses say they plan to increase the number of full-time employees in the next 12 months, compared to seven per cent who are planning to reduce in number.

Overall, 46 per cent of businesses surveyed are optimistic about growth, although there’s a marked difference depending on the size of the business. Medium-sized businesses are much more likely to be positive (56 per cent) than negative (18 per cent); whereas micro businesses are more likely to be negative (47 per cent) than positive (39 per cent) about their prospects.

These results “highlight the kaleidoscopic conditions experienced by UK SMEs”, says John Jenkins, CEO of GE Capital UK, which conducted the survey.

“It’s clear that the smallest businesses, which after all make up the backbone of the UK economy, may need further support to  boost business confidence and realise their potential.”

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