Improving economy delivers big confidence boost


Research has found that business confidence among smaller companies is returning, with falling costs and an improving economy taking the pressure off entrepreneurs. The Federation of Small Businesses said owner-managers increasingly had the confidence to hire new staff, award pay rises and approach banks for finance to expand. The organisation's Small Business Index grew by more than 11 points to 28.7 over the past quarter, and although this was slightly lower than during the same period last year, the FSB said confidence was 'robust'. The study also found that low inflation appeared to be providing a boost to companies' bottom lines, with the proportion of firms reporting a year-on-year increase in costs at a five-year low. However smaller companies are still struggling with skills shortages.


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