According to software firm Sage, the UKs small businesses have had their confidence boosted to a four-year high with almost half of them planning to go on a hiring spree.
The annual Sage Business Index found that UK companies were more optimistic about the prospects for their own business rising 3.74 points to a four-year high of 66.29.
The research also revealed that UK businesses have greater confidence in the national economy following a 7.81 increase to 61.76 in the last year, putting them ahead of both German and French businesses.
Sage stated that the rise in confidence is also reflected in business predictions for the year ahead.
According to the report almost half of businesses (47%) anticipated that the number of people their company employs will also increase by an average of 1.9 compared with just 6% who believe it will decrease.
Brendan Flattery, chief executive of Sage UK and Ireland (www.sage.co.uk) said “Within the UK economy continuing to go from strength to strength, businesses have been in a buoyant mood in the last 12 months.”
“Nearly two thirds of businesses in the UK expect to see their business grow in the next year. That shows they’re feeling very self-assured, as the UK economy charges ahead of the rest of Europe.”
Despite this, few UK businesses felt that they received enough help with exports from the UK government, with only 8% satisfied with the level of support and 28% arguing that the government should offer greater financial incentives to sell abroad.
Flattery further added “It is fair to say that we are in a golden age for entrepreneurs. The research suggests most businesses in the UK, regardless of size, have growth firmly on their agenda. But, as only 8% of UK firms say they received the support they need to help grow their exports, it’s vitally important that support is there for the UK economy to continue to grow.”