Confident SMEs investing

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Small and medium-sized businesses in the North West believe the economy is in better shape today than before the recession, with investment levels growing as a result.

That’s according to new research revealed today by Yorkshire Bank.

Half of businesses say economy is in a better place

The new survey reveals SMEs in the North West intend to invest, on average, nine per cent of their annual turnover back into their business and the UK economy in the next 12 months. This has increased since October last year when the UK average investment figure was six per cent of turnover.

Nearly half (46 per cent) of SMEs in the North West believe the UK economy is in better condition today than it was before the recession in 2008-2009.

Nationally SMEs intend to invest, on average, nine per cent of their annual turnover, which could drive investment totalling £108 billion in the next 12 months. According to the latest UK Government statistics, there are 5.2 million SMEs in the UK with a combined annual turnover of £1.2 trillion.

The leading focus for North West SMEs is to invest in new equipment, with around a third (31 per cent) saying it is the top priority.

This is followed by investment in new premises or improvements to existing premises, with 11 per cent saying that will be their priority.

Findings across the UK are broadly similar, with the North East, East of England and the South East most confident with investment levels expected to be slightly
above the UK average at 11 per cent.

Industry-wise, food and drink businesses challenge the UK trends with an average investment of 13 per cent of annual turnover.