The UK economy shrank in the last three months of 2012, but this could be blamed on the somewhat artificial growth in the third quarter, thanks to the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Most industry sectors have reported disappointing performances, but despite this they remain resilient and, in many cases, optimistic about what the next 12 months has in store.
The quarterly Close Brothers Business Barometer* asks SMEs from a variety of sectors across the UK about their feelings on a number of financial issues.
27% of businesses surveyed in the last quarter of 2012 said that the main barrier to growth was a lack of adequate funding.
Cash flow problems such as bad debt and late payments were the most pressing business concern for a fifth of UK SMEs.
Almost half of respondents said they would consider using invoice finance as a means to alleviating cash flow issues but almost 30% said that while they would consider it, they didn’t feel well enough informed to do so at this point.
Here’s a snapshot of industry news, drawn from our independently held Barometer survey.