We take a look at the confidence of UK businesses in the last quarter of 2016. The confidence tracker surveys over 1000 SME’s with an average turnover of £3million on a quarterly basis.
Overall the same confidence has dropped to 57.3% which is the lowest over the last 3 years.
The top challenges businesses faced in the Q4 2016 was Increased competition, late payments, lack of demand and rising costs. Rising costs seem to pose the greater challenge. This could be down to the uncertainty of Brexit.
The most important markets to UK SME’s is Germany (59%), United States (51%), China (32%), France (9%) and India (4%).
From the study, it found that 22% worried about rising costs and only 31% expect to see a sales growth – down from 44% (Q3).
25% of businesses, that’s one in four had to write off bad debt of an average £15.7K. It found that the average payment times to settle invoices reduced slightly to 37 days.