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Small business confidence is ‘on the turn’


Business confidence is at its highest level since 2007, according to a new report.


A survey of 2,300 companies by Lloyds TSB suggested that small firms are predicting rising sales and profits, driven by the promise of growing exports as a result of a ‘rebound’ in world demand for goods and a sustained fall in the pound.


John Maltby, managing director of Lloyds TSB Commercial, said: ‘Business confidence is on the turn. After such dramatic lows, this revival is a real sign that businesses are genuinely hopeful for the future, and it is clear that many firms now see better sales and profitability on the horizon.’


However, he warned that it was ‘a confidence tinged with caution.’ The survey showed that the biggest worry among smaller firms was falling domestic demand.


‘Concerns about home-grown demand are unsurprisingly weighing on the minds of business owners whose success depends on domestic markets,” said Maltby. "As long as businesses harbour doubts about the economic climate, they will hold back on investment spend and, while there's enough momentum behind the recovery to prevent it faltering, it is likely to be a long haul.’