The ship has been steadied. 12 months ago, the UK’s small and medium-sized businesses or SMEs, – (classed as having turnover of between £5 million and £500 million) were under the kosh. Fuel was up, energy costs were rising across the board and the UK’s SMEs looked at ways of improving efficiency. Forward wind the clock to today and the sector is brimming over with companies that have seen efficiency grow phoenix-like from their troubles.

At least that’s what Mel Egglenton, UK head of middle market for KPMG has theorised. He said “it appears that those who felt the pinch over the last year or two have now steadied the ship and are looking forward to the next 12 months with a renewed sense of optimism.”

He was speaking as KPMG revealed its latest survey on confidence among UK SMEs.

It’s finding: 64 per cent of SME bosses surveyed predicted a positive outlook; the highest level since 2004 and an increase of 14 per cent on the mood of the previous survey. The outlook for their own businesses was even more upbeat, with 76 per cent feeling confident about their prospects in the coming 12 months – the highest figure since the survey began back in 2003.

There are also encouraging signs that UK businesses are becoming more positive about their prospects overseas. Almost three quarters (74 per cent) of those questioned felt that small to medium-sized UK businesses were either ‘competitive’ or ‘extremely competitive’ within Europe.

© Investment & Business News 2013