Feel good factor returns to UK business
Research undertaken for the Tenon Forum shows that UK businesses are more confident about the future than they have been for some time, with the company’s index showing a 5% increase in confidence in the first six months of 2006.
There has not been such a marked increase in confidence since the Forum's inception in 2002 and last year, levels of confidence were very low. The bi-annual research, conducted by GfK NOP on Tenon’s behalf, questioned managing directors, financial directors and senior directors of 500 small and medium-sized businesses for analysis by the Tenon Forum, an independent think-tank of entrepreneurs.
Most markedly, the UK's construction industry is taking on challenges with a fresh perspective. At the end of 2005, more than a quarter of the construction industry was predicting big problems in 2006. Now, 93% of respondents are making positive business forecasts. No sectors of the UK's industry have suffered a decline in confidence. While financial and business services continue to enjoy steady and high confidence levels, transport and communications, and retail, utility and leisure are enjoying a 10% increase in confidence over last year’s verdict.
The research does, however, record a regional divide in levels of business confidence. While London records a 7% increase in confidence and the South West and Wales an incredible 17% growth, the Midlands and the North West have both suffered minor decreases at 6% and 2% respectively.
Andy Raynor, Tenon's Chief Executive, says: “Commentators continually deliver messages of doom and gloom but in reality, the UK's owner-managers have been facing up to the day-to-day issues of running successful businesses. They have acclimatised to constant speculation over house prices, adjusted to complicated, high levels of taxation and are less fearful of rocketing energy prices.
British owner-managers are looking back at the past 12 months and saying, “If that's as bad as it's going to get, bring it on!”. Early summer is a great time to take stock and, with a sense of rejuvenation, plan for the next twelve months. The great news is that the UK's businesses are feeling confident that a good year lies ahead.”
Tenon provides accounting and business advice to owner-managed and private business. It has a network of 30 offices in the UK.