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SME health hits 18-month high

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SME health hits 18-month high

A new business tracker suggests that UK small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) performed at their highest level in 18 months during the second quarter (Q2) of 2017.

The news follows the publication of the Centre for Economic and Business Research’s (CEBR) latest SME Health Check Index, which found that, in Q2, UK SMEs had ‘improved’ in six of eight key performance indicators measured by the tracker each quarter.

In fact, SMEs performed at their highest level since the end of 2015, with the Q2 Index – which is measured out of 100 – up by 12 points quarter-on-quarter, rising from 46.9 in Q1 to 58.9 in Q2.

The CEBR’s report suggests that SMEs enjoyed lower business costs, less business bankruptcies and less-restricted borrowing during Q2.

Meanwhile, business confidence also rose despite the political and economic uncertainties surrounding current and recent events.

David Duffy, CEO at SYBG banking group, which owns both Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank, said that SME’s were looking ahead with “cautious optimism.”

He said: “This quarter’s Index marks a return to the improving SME operating environment we saw throughout 2016 following a fall in the index in the last quarter.

“The UK’s future economic success will depend in no small part on the strength and general ‘health’ of our SME businesses.”

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