Business Finance News – Good and Bad

A quick round up of business finance news.

A recent survey of 1,000 SME’s by HSBC Commercial bank has established that more than eight out of ten small business owners think that their businesses will grow over the next 12 months.

Whilst raising business finance remains challenging around 14% of businesses that responded to the survey stated that they are starting to trade internationally to generate growth.  Just over half expect to increase their turnover.

Just keeping up with the competition remained the primary goal of around 1 in 5.  Just 17 per cent are looking to grow their business by investing in new equipment, which is possibly not good news for lease finance lenders and brokers.

Jacques-Emmanuel Blanchet, head of commercial banking UK at HSBC says

‘It is encouraging to see UK SMEs looking ahead to next year with optimism and a desire to grow their businesses, even to achieve market-leader status.’

 

Meanwhile unemployment continues to rise and has hit a 17-year high of 8.4 per cent of the workforce.  Indications are that the number of jobseekers looking for employment will continue to rise; Charles Levy, senior economist at The Work Foundation says,

‘Workers are facing the toughest labour market since the start of the recession …
‘This picture will only improve if we return to strong quarter on quarter employment growth.’

Somewhat contrary news comes from GfK NOP Consumer Confidence Index which states that consumer confidence in the UK rose in January.  Whilst this may see at odds with the general feeling in the market Nick Moon, managing director of GfK NOP Social Research says,

‘The Index is sometimes subject to non-economic influences, and the uplift may simply reflect a hangover from the Christmas feel-good factor.
‘If this is true, we should be on the lookout over the next few months for a possible bounce from the Olympics as well.’
‘Consumer confidence is still seriously depressed and we should treat this month’s modest improvement with caution. Should February show another rise then we may be seeing signs that the gloom is dispelling — until then we should treat January’s findings as good, but certainly not great, news,’

What do you think about the immediate prospects for business finances in the next twelve months?

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