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We have just published the results of our fifth QCA/BDO Small and Mid-Cap Sentiment Index, which shows that companies are more upbeat about their own business prospects this quarter, but are not planning on increasing their headcount or turnover as much as the previous quarter. 

The quarterly survey, run in partnership with BDO and carried out by YouGov, tracks the business confidence of small and mid-cap quoted company sector.

In addition to our key economic trackers, we also asked the sector for its views on how to incentivise growth – with a focus on fiscal policies that the sector would like to see announced in the upcoming Autumn Statement or even the 2013 Budget.

Some highlights include:

  • 64% of small and mid-cap quoted companies are optimistic about their own business prospects – up from 55% in July.
  • 55% of small and mid-cap quoted companies are pessimistic about prospects for the UK economy in the next 12 months – down from 71% in July.
  • 65% of companies expect sales to grow in the next 12 months, with the average expected growth in turnover put at +7.9%, down from July (+9.7%) and Sept 2011 (+15.3).
  • 43% of companies expect to increase headcount in the next 12 months, with the average expected change in employment growth put at +3.5%, down from July (+3.6%) and Sept 2011 (+6.9%).
  • 46% of companies cite a lack of confidence in the market as the main impediment to growth.
  • 34% of companies and 37% of advisory firms think allowing AIM and PLUS-quoted shares into ISAs would have the biggest positive impact on the sector were it to be announced in the Spring Budget.
  • 22% of companies think the single most effective structural economic change to help the sector grow is infrastructure investment, while an equal number believe it should be a National Insurance holiday.
  • 59% of companies and 49% of advisory firms currently see greater growth opportunities for the sector overseas rather than domestically.

You can access the press release and full report on the QCA/BDO Small and Mid-Cap Sentiment Index microsite

Thank you to everyone that participated in our fifth survey. We take your views to Government to highlight the need to improve the business environment for the smal and mid-size quoted company sector. So please take part in our next survey in January 2013.

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