Do you feel lucky? Well, you should. At least that’s if findings from Aldermore Bank’s quarterly SME Monitor are anything to go by.
Kindly compiled for Aldermore by the Centre for Economics and British Research (CEBR), it reveals that wages in SMEs were up 1.2% year-on-year for the fourth quarter of 2013, with labour costs accounting for around 30% of total business expenses.
Other findings include a 2.4% increase in total business investment in Q4 2013 compared to Q3 as well as a decline in SME insolvencies from the previous year. The confidence index for SMEs had also more than doubled at the end of 2013, climbing to +39.7 from a relatively poor +16.0 at the tail end of 2012.
And it’s not just SMEs that have reason to cheer. The report goes on to reveal that business investment for the wider UK economy had steadily been increasing over 2013, from 0.7% in Q2 to 2% in Q3.
“The rising levels of confidence and improved wages show that the economic recovery in the UK is really starting to pick up pace,” said Mark Stephens, commercial director of the Aldermore Group.
“Business investment is a key element required for a long term sustainable recovery and therefore it is encouraging to see that the level of investment SMEs are making in their businesses has increased considerably over the last twelve months.”
Rob Harbron, senior economist at CEBR, added: “With GDP projected to rise by 3.3% compared to 2013, it is welcome news that growth is seen to be coming from all three major industrial sectors. One particularly encouraging trend that may emerge over the medium term is that of reshoring: with 1,500 manufacturing jobs identified as having been returned to the UK since 2011, a rise would be a valuable support to a sustained recovery.”
More of the same next quarter please!