Things are looking up for SMEs in financial services and manufacturing, but SMEs that export to the EU have a tough road ahead finds the Quarter 2, 2018 SME Growth Tracker. Anna Tobin reports
The Quarter 2, 2018 SME Growth Tracker, carried out by Capital Economics and commissioned by Amazon UK and Enterprise Nation based on a YouGov survey of over 1,000 UK SMEs, has found that while UK SMEs expect to increase their export volumes overall by 0.5% year-on-year, those that export to the EU expect to see a drop of 0.4% year-on-year. And, although exporting SMEs believe that their export revenues will rise by 0.3% in the next year, those that export to the EU expect their export revenues from the EU to drop by 0.7%.
The future looks rosier for UK SMEs in manufacturing and financial services
The SME Growth Tracker forecasts that SMEs in the manufacturing and financial services industries will see their revenues grow by 2.2% and 1.9% respectively in the coming year. The Confidence Index score amongst SMEs has fallen since the first quarter, however, from -6 down to -8. Confidence has been negative for all SMEs since the 2017 general election when it was at its lowest point of -11. It has not been positive since March 2017.
Only those SMEs in the financial services and manufacturing sectors expect business conditions to improve in the coming year, with SME Confidence Index scores of +3 and +6 respectively. Consequently, manufacturing SMEs expect to increase their headcounts by 0.8% next year and to increase capital expenditure by 1.7%. SMEs in financial services are looking to raise their headcounts by 1.5% and their capital expenditure by 0.6%.