SME Confidence Tracker

Quarter 3, 2017


The SME Confidence Tracker surveys over 1,000 of the UK’s small and medium sized businesses on a quarterly basis. The Tracker charts the confidence of owners and senior decision-makers of businesses in manufacturing, construction, wholesale, transport and services sectors. Field work took place in May and June 2017 with businesses that had an average annual turnover of £2.1 million.



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Key findings

  • 40% of SMEs expect to see sales growth between July and October, down from 48% in Q1.
  • Three-fifths (59%) say that uncertainty brought about by Brexit is damaging for the economy.
  • Almost half (46%) say the cost of doing business is the biggest challenge to them right now.
  • Nearly a third (29%) want the Government to prioritise lower business rates for small businesses.
  • SMEs have written off £20,403 in bad debt over the past 12 months, up 22% from Q1 2017.
  • Three-quarters (76%) invested in their business during Q2.
  • The top area of investment was existing staff with over a third (37%) investing in training and development.
  • Two fifths (40%) of SMEs say they do not plan to invest in their business in Q3.

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