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UK SMEs catching up with wider industry 17 October 2013

The UK’s small and medium businesses (SMEs) have matched wider industry output levels during Q3 2013, according to new figures from Bibby Financial Services.

The Business Factors Index report (BFI), which measures the output of thousands of UK businesses, shows increasing levels of activity and output among SMEs.

The report shows increased levels of output for manufacturing and construction SMEs, as well as “strong” year-on-year growth performances in the wholesale and transport sectors.

Bibby Financial Services UK CEO, David Postings said: “Quarter three was generally a period of good performance across the board with increasing optimism among SMEs.

“In key sectors such as manufacturing and construction, we have seen encouraging results over the past 12 months and growth in construction activity could be a result of stimulation from the Help to Buy scheme.”

The report also found that 36% of UK SMEs say business is better than it was six months ago, and 42% of businesses reported an increase in new customers.

Postings did, however, warn that while the report reflects increasing positivity, there is still a lot to be done for UK SMEs.

He explained: “The latest Business Factors Index results are a welcome sign of encouragement for the economy. However, it will be interesting to see whether there has been further growth when Gross Domestic Product figures are released later this month.

“Unemployment is still above seven per cent and there remain a significant number of businesses unable to access the finance they require to survive – let alone grow.”

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