SME growth remains steady despite weak exports

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has announced the growth rates among SMEs in the three months to July.

According to a CBI survey of 408 companies, the UK’s manufacturers saw a steady growth in domestic orders, in line with expectations, improving reported business optimism for that quarter.

Concerns were raised over the reported dip in exportation, with export prices continuing to fall at the fastest pace since 2003.

Anna Leach, Head of Economic Analysis at the CBI, said: ‘Optimism among smaller manufacturers improved this quarter, alongside steady employment growth, rising output and new domestic orders.

‘But the relative strength of the Pound against the Euro is hitting export orders and margins, while uncertainty regarding Greece threatens growth prospects in the Eurozone’.

Only 18% of companies said their export numbers were up during the quarter, with 26% reporting a decrease. Spending on plant and machinery is not expected to change, while firms are planning to spend less on buildings over the next 12 months.

Overall growth in employment, training and innovation remained steady, as companies expand their workforces and reach following the reported economic recovery.

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