According to the latest study from specialist challenger bank, Hampshire Trust Bank, the British manufacturing sector has seen a six percent increase in SMEs since 2010.
The research, conducted in partnership with the Centre for Economics and Business Research, reveals three sectors which demonstrated the highest growth: technical and professional (39 percent), information and communication (33 percent), and business services (25 percent). Across the UK, there has been a 17 percent rise in the number of SMEs since 2010.
Three in five (59 percent) accountancy and IT and communication firms say they feel optimistic, and 50 percent of manufacturing SMEs feel confident about the future – which is two percent lower than the national average. Manufacturing SMEs also highlighted competition in the market (40 percent) and both employment costs and economic uncertainty (38 percent) as the biggest barriers to growth, which would be deterring new firms from entering the sector.
Stuart Hulme, Director of Savings at Hampshire Trust Bank, said: “According to our latest UK SME Savings Tracker report, manufacturing and engineering SMEs have a significant amount of cash in business savings accounts, which is encouraging and we believe shows that these organisations are confidently planning for their future.
“Our SME Growth Watch report highlights the vital contribution of SMEs both within the manufacturing sector and indeed across all sectors to the UK economy, and the rapid level of growth being demonstrated by some of the nation’s smallest businesses. These figures should be viewed as encouraging for the government, demonstrating the widespread resilience and ambition of UK SMEs.
“At Hampshire Trust Bank we provide consistently competitive business savings accounts to help SMEs develop and build. We urge the government to undertake proactive measures to create opportunities and conditions that enable them to continue to flourish.”
Nina Skero, Managing Economist at CEBR, said: “This study is yet another indicator of how strong UK SMEs are and the vital role they play within the UK economy. It’s encouraging to see SMEs across various industries posting a strong performance. This further highlights how vital it is to nurture the optimism they are demonstrating if they are to continue driving economic growth.”