Small business growth forecasts reaches an 18 month high

New research from our Business Barometer survey reveals that two in five small business owners (39%) predict growth in the first few months of 2020 across all but two industry sectors. This follows a recent drop in small business confidence and suggests an upturn in expectations for the first time in 18 months.

Furthermore, the industry sectors that have thought to be adversely affected by Brexit uncertainty, such as manufacturing, have seen their highest levels of growth outlook since 2018.

Willingness to embrace change

Seasonal businesses and businesses who regard themselves as being technologically ‘able’ were the most likely to foresee positive expansion for the coming months. This was also the case for more established businesses who had been trading for 35 years or more. These companies demonstrated a significant increase in growth outlook – suggesting a willingness to embrace change and adapt to new growth strategies.

Regional changes

Over the last 12 months we have seen some significant changes regionally. The East of England saw the biggest jump in confidence, rising from 28% to 43%, followed closely by London (36% to 47%) and the South West, which jumped from 29% to 38%.