Good year for British enterprise, says Barclays research
UK small business annual income grew by 7.4% in 2014, according to a report by Barclays.
The Barclays Small Business Income Index is compiled by tracking the income of 600,000 SME customers with turnover of less than £5 million. It is seasonally adjusted and smoothed to account for short-term volatility.
It represents the highest annual growth rate for more than 14 years. From Q3 to Q4 2014 the income increased 1.8%, consolidating a strong first three quarters. Activity levels are currently 24% higher than in Q1 of 2000 (the start of the millennium). They have now risen 28% since the nadir of Q2 in 2009.
Activity was particularly strong in London, the North-West and the East-Midlands – but generally all regions enjoyed a strong year. The health, education and real estate sectors were the industries that saw the healthiest income levels across the same period.
Barclays head of business banking Adam Rowse said the figures paint a positive picture for small business as we move into 2015.
“The latest GDP figures show growth of 0.5% in the final quarter of 2014, putting growth for the full year at 2.6%,” he said. “These official estimates back up what we have already seen in the incomes of our small business customers.
“Last year was the best for small business growth since before 2001 and it’s good to see a strong finish to the year, which is encouraging for businesses to get the head start they need in 2015.”