UK recovery – British CFOs more confident about the future

SMEs more optimistic

Looking at these global trade forecasts, they may also explain why the GECS report showed that CFOs of larger companies were more pessimistic than those working in smaller businesses, with 35 per cent of respondents from larger companies feeling less confident than three months ago, compared to 30 per cent from SMEs.

Larger UK companies tend to be international, and therefore more likely to be affected by uneven recovery and rely on solid economic performance in different markets. Whereas a large number of UK SMEs tend to operate just within this market and so aren’t exposed to these varying issues in the same way.

This increasing confidence amongst smaller businesses is encouraging to see, particularly as we also note that banks are now actively lending more to SMEs through the Funding for Lending Scheme, perhaps signalling further good things to come.

Despite these figures, there is still a way to go before the global economy can be said to have made a full recovery. Recovery is still seemingly a ‘work in progress’. The optimism is tempered by continuing uncertainty as some markets around the globe remain fragile and prone to sudden changes, which are a surprise for businesses.

However, it is certainly encouraging to see that businesses are investing more in people, becoming less worried about the supply chain and beginning to take more risks, all areas which help in leading to a more sustained recovery for the UK.

Alan Hatfield, executive director – strategy & development with ACCA

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