The first SME Growth Tracker of 2017, a quarterly report by Capital Economics commissioned by Amazon UK and Enterprise Nation that assesses growth prospects and views on the broader UK economy from small and medium-sized enterprises (SME), has found that SMEs have raised their revenue growth projections for the third quarter in a row – and are now forecasting +2.3 per cent revenue growth for the coming 12 months.
“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.”
SME confidence in their own companies strong across the UK, except in Wales
Across the regions, North East SMEs expect the sharpest improvement in business conditions for their own companies in the coming twelve months, with an SME Confidence Index score of +11, well above the national average. In contrast, Welsh SMEs are the only businesses, on average, expecting conditions for their own company to deteriorate in the coming year, with an SME Confidence Index score of -2
SMEs brace for higher supply costs and price inflation
More than three-in-four SMEs (78%) believe higher price inflation is a risk to their business in the year ahead, with SMEs on average expecting to raise prices +2% in the coming 12 months. This reflects SME perceptions of steadily increasing supply costs, up +2.0% in the past twelve months and expected to increase by a further +2.5% in the year ahead.