CBI SME Trends Survey

CBI’s latest quarterly SME Trends Survey

  • Both domestic and export orders among the UK’s small and medium-sized manufacturers fell in the three months to October.
  • Production levels continued to contract modestly, while business sentiment deteriorated for the second consecutive quarter.
  • Prospects for the coming quarter are somewhat better, with output expected to increase slightly and new orders expected to level off.

Business confidence

QCA/BDO Small & Mid-Cap Sentiment Index

  • Small and mid-cap companies are stuck in a holding pattern that is preventing growth in the sector, despite demonstrating improved confidence over the last quarter.
  • While those firms’ optimism about their own prospects has increased to 60.6 from 58.0, this has not translated into greater intentions to hire, nor improved turnover expectations that equate to growth plans

CBI quarterly economic forecast

CBI quarterly economic forecast

  • UK growth will be flat this year, and should show a modest pick-up throughout 2013. GDP growth will be 0% in 2012, slightly above the previous forecast (-0.3%), reflecting the better-than-expected quarterly rate of growth in the third quarter (+1.0%)
  • 2013 growth of up to +1.4%, marginally up from +1.2% in August
  • A slight improvement in pace should be seen in 2014, but external risks to the outlook are likely to continue. GDP growth of up to 2.0% in 2014
  • Inflation is now likely to be somewhat higher than previously forecast through 2013