The SME Growth Tracker study was conducted by Capital Economics, commissioned by Amazon UK and Enterprise Nation to assess how small and medium-sized firms in the UK feel when it comes to revenue growth and company expansion across the next year. And it appears that the thoughts of leaders are positive even though Article 50 has been triggered, as the report revealed that SMEs are forecasting 2.3 per cent revenue growth in the next 12 months. Contributing to the revenue growth expectations, the SME Confidence Index for business leaders is up +3 in Q1 2017 versus -4 in Q4 2016. That said, while the number is up across the board, leaders? confidence in their own sectors isn?t as high with a -2 measurement ? though that?s progress on -9 in Q4. Broken down, firms in finance expect the largest growth at 3.1 per cent, although manufacturing SMEs are the most confident. ?We are seeing a big rebound in confidence amongst British SMEs after a significant decline in December, but small businesses leaders remain concerned about the impact of rising supply costs and higher price inflation,? said Simon Johnson, UK director of Seller Services, Amazon. ?Small businesses are optimistic but do see potential risks, and that?s one of the reasons we?re running the Amazon Academy programme ? with an event in Manchester today ? to help them boost growth, productivity and exports by using digital tools and services to better serve customers.? As the Northern Powerhouse movement continues, North East SMEs expect the largest business conditions improvement with a score of +11. Welsh SMEs, meanwhile, predict the worse with a confidence level of -2. Additionally, 78 per cent of SMEs thing higher price inflation is a risk in the coming year, predicting a two per cent price increase. Emma Jones MBE, founder of Enterprise Nation and government?s crown representative for small business, added: ?The SME community powers Britain?s economy and continues to show resilience in the face of uncertain times, but the government must take heed of increasing concerns about the negative impact of rising supply costs on small business. ?This year in particular, they are facing increasing responsibility for a number of issues including auto enrolment for pensions. We want to make sure the government understands the important role they play in the British economy and listens with conviction to their opportunities and challenges.? Image: Shutterstock
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