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Small business confidence continues to rise

UK small business confidence is at its highest level in over a year, according to the latest Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) Small Business Index (SBI).

Despite a rise in business costs there has been a strong recovery pushed forward due to increased international trade.

A net balance of 15.6 percent of small firms reported a rise in export activity over the past three months. International sales are also expected to increase by 30.5 percent over the next quarter.

Mike Cherry, FSB national chairman, said: “It’s hugely encouraging to see our small businesses trading more overseas, driving an exports-led recovery.

“We know small firms that export have higher turnovers than those who rely on the domestic market, so it’s crucial that the Government maximises cross-border trade opportunities for small firms.”

Fuel and labour increases have been cited as the main cause of increased operation costs, with a net balance of 64.5 percent of small firms reporting a rise over the past quarter.

Mike Cherry continued: “At a time of unprecedented political and economic uncertainty, small firms are being hit from all sides by mounting cost pressures.

“This month alone many have had to absorb a hike in business rates and the National Living Wage. Added to this are costs that have steadily risen, such as fuel, which our members are increasingly pointing to as a major cause of higher outgoings.”

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