SMEs in the retail sector are slightly more optimistic about their economic landscape, according to the latest Quarterly Business Trends Survey from ISME.
The study found that in Q2, the sector reported a decrease across 8 out of 10 economic indicators, which is a decline on the first quarter of the year. However, these figures are an improvement on Q4 2014, indicating that the sector is starting to see improvements.
'A further positive is that one of the indicators which increased for retail in this Quarter is Current Sales, going from 25% to 28%, a good sign that economic improvements are resulting in increased consumer spending, even though margins are still under pressure,' ISME said in its report.
Overall, ISME said that there were improvements in 10 of the 12 economic indicators tracked, with Business Confidence seeing a rise from 39% to 45% and Sales Expectations seeing a rise from 35% to 41%.
“The evidence of a growing momentum in the economy in 2014 is continuing after a slow start to the year," said Mark Fielding, ISME chief executive. "The fact that 10 of the 12 indicators in this survey have increased in the Quarter is a very positive sign for the economy. Of particular importance are the increases in Current and Future Employment figures and Investment levels."
"These indicators point to both increased employment and investment demonstrating that SMEs are focused on developing their businesses and are working hard to secure growth."
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