North East business confidence highest for two years

Businesses in the North East are at their most optimistic since 2011, with the average company with a turnover of £20m or less expecting to grow revenue by 116% over the next five years

Spending chiefs have urged the creation of a new £200m fund to help SMEs
Businesses in the North East are at their most optimistic since 2011

Businesses in the North East are at their most optimistic since 2011, with the average company with a turnover of £20m or less expecting to grow revenue by 116% over the next five years - more than double the 56% five-year growth forecast in 20122 and 109% in 20113.

The number of firms in the region citing the current trading environment as a barrier to growth fell substantially to 24%, down from 60% last year and 52% in 2011, according to new research from Santander Corporate & Commercial.

The region also has the highest number of businesses (25%) in the UK looking to grow through acquisition, up from 8% on last year, and the highest number of businesses (21%) reporting that they have never been in better shape – up from 11% in 2012 and just 5% in 2011.

Nationally, the study revealed UK businesses as a whole are predicting turnover growth of an average 134% in the next five years, equivalent to 18.5% a year, and up considerably from the 88% five-year growth forecast in last year’s survey, and the 104% forecast in 2011.

According to the research, stronger UK growth figures were matched by a stronger outlook for employment with around one in eight (13%) companies stating that hiring new staff was an immediate priority – the highest it has been since 2011.

SMEs also reported they are turning to acquisitions for growth, with the number reporting this to be an immediate priority doubling to 14% this year

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