UK middle of the class in SME business confidence

At a business confidence rating of 62.55 (respondents are asked to judge on a scales of one-100) the UK is slightly above the average for all markets, at 62.02. However, it ranks eighth out of 16 major economies.

Brazil is at the top of the league table, with a score of 71.62, followed by Singapore at 66.96 and Canada at 66.80.

More than two-thirds of businesses from the countries covered by the survey said banks aren’t doing enough to make capital available and a similar proportion feel governments need to put more pressure on banks to lend.

The study says: “A lack of support from traditional financial institutions is resulting in businesses looking to secure investment from alternative sources. In response to a shortfall in available capital, crowd funding and peer-to-peer funding have emerged in recent years as alternatives to conventional sources of funding.”

In the UK 73 per cent of SME decision makers believe the government needs to do more to encourage banks to lend, the fifth highest response of any country in the survey.

The Index also found that half of UK businesses say cutting business bureaucracy is one of the most important things the Government can do to help business confidence and 45 per cent are calling for a reduction in business taxes.

SME decision makers’ confidence in their country’s economy has risen 6.38 points to 48.85.

The Sage Business Index is an annual global measure of confidence across small and medium sized companies, including 11,734 businesses from 17 countries.

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