R3 – the Association of Business Recovery Professionals recently published promising figures for UK businesses, which suggested that more than two thirds are currently experiencing at least one indicator of positive growth.
The figure of 68% is an all-time high, according to R3, every individual indicator in the survey is at a record-breaking level, and four in five of them have seen unprecedented double-digit growth since the summer of 2013.
Over two fifths of businesses are investing in new equipment (42%), witnessing increased volumes of sales (42%) or seeing increased profits (41%).
Around three in ten are also either expanding (32%) or increasing their market share (30%).
Businesses may be seeing multiple indicators of growth, but 68% are reporting at least one – the second time in a row that this figure has risen, and a substantial gain on the previous peak of around 57%, reported in June 2012.
R3 president Liz Bingham says: “We’ve never seen such a rapid improvement from one survey to the next. After such a prolonged period of stuttering growth, it’s very nice to be able to talk about good news for a change.”
There are also promising signs in terms of the net balance between businesses that expect to expand, and those that expect to consolidate over the coming year.
In the latest survey, 44% expect expansion and 39% expect consolidation, a net balance of +5%.
Last year, 41% of surveyed businesses said they had expanded and 42% reported consolidation, equating to a negative net balance of -1%.
Ms Bingham suggests that the expectation of expansion indicates a return of business confidence and of plans to invest, at a level “that has previously been missing”.
She adds: “If this change in attitude can unlock business investment, then that bodes well for the future.”