Press release: Small and mid-cap positivity wavers as outlook on UK economy declines

28th June 2019

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The latest edition of the QCA/YouGov Small & Mid-Cap Sentiment Index reveals that small and mid-cap companies remain positive about their own prospects but this optimism is at its lowest point since 2012.

Outlook on the UK economy is uncertain – with a mean rating of 48.5 from companies (where 50 is completely neutral). This sentiment has declined steadily since peaking in 2014 at 69.3.

Many companies (as indicated in survey respondent comments) cite Brexit and political uncertainty as continuing to contribute to the neutral outlook on the UK economy. 

Other key findings:

  • 76% of small & mid-caps are expecting to increase jobs, but 19% anticipate decreasing employment – up from 10% six months earlier.
  • 37% of surveyed companies are planning to raise capital - down from 47% when asked six months earlier. 
  • Companies predict average sales growth of 17%, down from 19.2% a year earlier.

Tim Ward, Chief Executive, Quoted Companies Alliance:

The UK’s small & mid-cap companies remain optimistic and resilient about their own prospects and a large majority expect to increase employment in the coming 12 months.

But Brexit and the ongoing political uncertainty in the country are contributing to a neutral outlook on the UK economy with business looking to see how things will develop in the second half of 2019.

- Ends -

Read the full results of the latest QCA/YouGov Small & Mid-Cap Sentiment Index.

For more information please contact:
Peter Curtain, Allerton Communications
peter.curtain@allertoncomms.co.uk 
+44 (0) 20 3633 1730 

Anthony Robinson, Head of Policy & Communications, Quoted Companies Alliance
anthony.robinson@theqca.com
+ (0)20 7397 8148

 

Background


The Small & Mid-Cap Sentiment Index

  • The QCA/YouGov Small & Mid-Cap Sentiment Index has been running since 2011. 
  • This is the 22nd wave and is conducted twice yearly. It is an established source of information about the small and mid-sized quoted company sector.

The QCA

  • The Quoted Companies Alliance is the independent membership organisation that champions the interests of small to mid-size quoted companies.
  • For more information please visit https://www.theqca.com/.

The small & mid-cap sector

  • In 2019, there are around 1,250 small and mid-size quoted companies in the UK, representing 93% of all companies quoted on stock exchanges. 
  • They employ approximately 3 million people, representing 11% of private sector employment in the UK, and contribute over £26bn in annual taxes (source).
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Methodology

  • 117 interviews were conducted between 17/04/19 and 04/06/19.
  • 78 from small and mid-cap UK quoted companies, 39 from advisory companies (this includes investors, auditors, accountants, lawyers, brokers, and AIM NOMADs etc.)
  • This survey was conducted by YouGov using an online interview administered to members and associates of the QCA. An email was sent to the QCA database, inviting them to take part in the survey and providing a link to it. A link to the survey was also circulated by the QCA to their contacts. The sample definition is "small and mid-cap UK quoted companies and advisory companies". The responding sample is weighted by industry to be representative of small and mid-cap UK quoted companies, as derived from London Stock Exchange data, but the advisory companies are not weighted in any way.
  • Note: Where the percentages for a chart are calculated on bases fewer than 40 respondents these must not be reported as they do not represent a wide enough cross-section of the target population to be considered statistically reliable. These questions and figures will be italicised.
     

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