As another year comes to a close the latest Owner Managed Business Barometer (OMB) Index from Bank of Cyprus UK has swung to its most positive outcome (0.23) since its launch in April 2013 and up from -0.07 at this time last year.
Confidence in the economy underpins this improved result. Two fifths of respondents (40%) thought their local economy was in good shape, while a third (34%) felt that the UK economy as a whole was doing well. Overall, the barometer index for economic outlook (0.10) was the highest it has ever been.
Small businesses are also feeling more financially robust when it comes to their cash flow, with nearly three quarters (74%) satisfied that their current borrowing commitments are sufficient to meet their needs over the next 12 months. This is an improvement on the last quarter where just over two thirds (66%) felt the same.
Furthermore, small business forecasts for 2015 are buoyant, with as many as three fifths (59%) of businesses expecting their sales and revenue to increase over the next 12 months.
The research also asked businesses about their attitudes towards employment prospects and morale. It found that employment stability is at its strongest since the research began, with two in three (65%) small businesses believing that their employees feel confident about their job security.
Tony Leahy, Bank of Cyprus UK commented: “The research reveals that as we close on 2014, OMBs are more positive about the future of their businesses than at any time since our research began. This confidence is not misplaced. With the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement confirming the UK economy as being the fastest growing amongst the G7 countries, good businesses are in a strong position to prosper further in 2015.”
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