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Rebound in confidence gives boost to region’s SMEs

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The health of SMEs in the East of England has shown one of the largest improvements in the country as fewer firms operate below capacity and confidence increases, according to new research. An SME health check index for the East of England compiled by CYBG and the Centre for Business and Economics Research rose by 11 points to 50, helped by a rebound in economic activity in the second quarter. Nationally, the index showed that the health of UK SMEs was stable in the period at 47.1 points. However the research also highlighted less promising trends including slower employment growth and a fall in lending. Gavin Opperman, group customer banking director, at CYBG, said: “The latest SME health check index demonstrates just how much can change for SMEs quarter to quarter…. this quarter provides some grounds for optimism. Gdp and capacity have made gains, and the index remains steady, dropping by only 0.5 points. This all suggests the UK economy could be on the road to recovery.”

Separately, R3 figures show the number of firms in the East of of England have risen by 5,000 since the start of May to just over 351,000 at the start of September, although the risk of insolvency has rise from 42 per cent to 44.7 per cent. R3 Eastern chair Mark Upton said: “It is encouraging to see such entrepreneurial drive in the region, particularly as the economic climate remains so challenging. However, with the increase in companies at greater risk of insolvency, there is a stronger emphasis on owners and managers to remain aware of potential issues and act swiftly on them.”

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 19 September 2018 15:54 )