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Entrepreneurs Panel

Julie Meyer
Jeremy Roberts
Debbie Pierce
Brian Hay
Tony Caldeira
Jennie Johnson
Richard O'Sullivan
Steve Purdham
David Pollock
Laura Tenison
Charlie Mullins
Michael Oliver

Confidence in the economy is up, but businesses are out of the woods yet, warns expert

Confidence in the economy is on the up according to the latest Smith & Williamson Enterprise Index, which shows that more than 90% of Entrepreneurs expect the economy to improve over the next few months and are optimistic about their prospects.

The results correlate with recent economic growth data reported by the Office of National Statistics that show that the UK economy grew by 1.7% in 2013, with growth in the last quarter of the year at 0.7%.

This quarter’s Index results also revealed that over 80% of respondents are optimistic about their prospects for the coming year.

Matt Dunham, partner in Restructuring and Recovery from the Smith and Williamson Manchester office, said: “The results represent continuing good news for NW plc. The economic indicators continue to improve both here in the North West and across the UK as a whole.

“Crucially, the levels of confidence continue to increase and harden. These in turn will lead to further investment which fuels growth.

“One note of caution though; the levels are up from a very low starting point. Whilst I see improvements in most of the businesses we advise, that optimism is measured and fragile. We are heading in the right direction, but aren't out of the recessionary woods yet.”

The survey also shows that 35% of respondents felt that access to funding is not improving and an additional 30% indicated that it had neither improved nor deteriorated.

This result seems to confirm early 2014 news reports suggesting that since the introduction of the Government funding for lending scheme (FLS), loans to businesses have actually fallen by £2.3bn.

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