Companies grow more confident, but worries remain over recovery

Small companies in Britain are leading the world in terms of the growth in business confidence, survey data show.

But such confidence is not matched by views about the economy. Only 14pc of the 1,900 small companies surveyed by Regus, the workspace group, believe that economic recovery is fully under way.

Another 20pc feel the recovery will be stronger by the end of the year on the back of a rise in profits.

Almost 40pc of the business surveyed reported higher profits in the six months to October, an increase of almost 10pc.

The confidence rating was one of the surprises in the survey. Regus measured the UK confidence indicator against others in its global database to determine which country was showing the biggest improvement in confidence.

Cost-cutting remains a priority, with almost 70pc setting their sights over the next year on reducing the bill for bought-in services. IT and telecoms are the priority areas while just over 50pc say they want a better return on marketing and advertising expenditure.

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