Small business confidence is at its highest level since records began.
This is according to the latest Federation of Small Businesses Small Business Index, which hit +41 for the first time. Every sector surveyed reported a positive outlook for the coming quarter.
The North East recorded the largest increase in optimism when compared with this time last year, with confidence in the area reaching +44, compared with a reading of -7 during the third quarter of last year.
Some 61 per cent of respondents said they expect to grow within the next 12 months, while 11 per cent expect to grow rapidly. Almost a fifth of businesses surveyed said they expect profits to rise during the period.
This marks the seventh consecutive quarter in which businesses have recorded a positive outlook.
FSB national chairman John Allen said: “We’re seeing record breaking confidence from our members which suggests small firms will continue to spearhead the UK’s recovery.
“We want policy makers to lock in this optimism and continue to back the self employed and small businesses. As we head in to party conference season, we’ll be looking to all the political parties to spell out what they will do to encourage job creation and investment, and reward entrepreneurs in the next Parliament.”