Economic contraction disappointing for small businesses

Tuesday 29 January 2013

Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) must keep fighting for trade, as the economy continues to struggle along, it has been suggested.

Phil Orford, chief executive of the Forum of Private Business (FPB), expressed disappointment at the latest gross domestic product figures, published by the Office for National Statistics.

According to the preliminary reading, the economy contracted by 0.3 per cent between October and December 2012 - meaning the UK is again just one negative growth quarter away from technical recession.

Mr Orford said it is a "difficult time" for many businesses operating when an economy is not growing, and clearly there will be some continuing tough economic times in the first half of 2013.

"Whilst it is disappointing to see an estimated -0.3 contraction in the economy, these are preliminary figures and we will hold judgement until the fuller figures come out," he stated.

"In the meantime the positive news is that unemployment continues to fall and the government has a number of business friendly projects that can be sped up, including planning law changes and infrastructure spending."

But despite the negative economic figures, Mr Orford claimed confidence levels are growing among small business leaders in the UK.

In a recent study conducted by, 58 per cent of business leaders surveyed said they were targeting growth for their enterprises in the near future.

Posted by Jenny Arthur