According to The Small Firms Association director, Avine McNally, the Association has seen an improvement in business confidence in the last quarter of 2013, which is the strongest sentiment data that has been seen by the Association in a few years.
McNally indicated that the economy had stabilised and the greatest challenge was the time at which the economy would commence to grow in a suitable way. She added that businesses were performing better, which was encouraging as more companies were looking into the future with optimism.
Around 35% of the respondent companies rated overall business environment as either ‘good’ or very ‘good’, which was an 11% increase on Q2 2013. Almost half of the businesses rated their companies to be doing ‘good’ or ‘very good’, which was a 6% increase on quarter two of 2013.
Out of the total respondents who were surveyed 29% of them had more confidence about their businesses in quarter 3 2013. They were also positive about the first three months of the year 2014. One out of four small firms had confidence that their business would either be ‘good’ or ‘very good’.
Thirty nine percent of export companies are likely to see an increase in their sales in the first quarter of 2014 while sales in the domestic market are expected to increase for 26% of small firms. Despite this great news, the weak performance of the European economy is still a great concern. According to McNally, even if there is an improvement in confidence among small firms, it remains fragile. She added that there was need for this confidence to improve further.