Business turnover in recent months reached the highest level in almost three years, but conditions were still described as tough in parts of the UK and there was uncertainty about the economic climate, according to a new report.
A study of 3,000 small and medium sized firms by Bibby Financial Services showed showed an 11% increase in turnover in the three months to September compared to a year ago, with growth found to be most significant in manufacturing.
A separate survey of 300 businesses showed that one in four believed the economy would not show real signs of recovery for at least three years.
Edward Rimmer, chief executive at Bibby Financial Services, said: “These findings indicate turnover among our client base is on the up, and this trend reflects the UK GDP figures.
“It is apparent that business activity continues to grow despite trepidation around the comprehensive spending review.
“We support the Government’s attempts to make the public sector leaner and fitter through expenditure reform, but we must ask how these cuts affect the small and medium-sized business community.”
Firms in the South West were most pessimistic about the prospects of recovery, while those in Yorkshire and Humberside were most likely to describe current trading conditions as tough.