Optimistic outlook for UK SMEs, as ONS announces an increase in GDP figures

GDP increased by 0.8% in Q3 2013 compared with Q2 2013, that’s according to statistics released today by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). But, whilst this may be the fastest growth rate the UK economy has seen since 2010, a more detailed breakdown reveals that growth rates in different parts of the country vary by up to 1%.

According to data provided by the Telegraph, in partnership with Experian, London and the South East show the strongest growth, and account for nearly all of the UK's fastest growing local authorities.

The ONS findings also showed that output increased in all four main industrial groupings within the economy in Q3 2013 compared with Q2 2013, with increases of 1.4% in agriculture, 0.5% in production, 2.5% in construction, and 0.7% in services.

GDP was 1.5% higher in Q3 2013 compared with the same quarter a year ago, boosted by the Olympics and Paralympics which took place in Q3 2012, raising the level of GDP in this quarter. And the government’s Help to Buy Scheme, which offers equity loans to both first-time buyers and home movers on new-build homes worth up to £600,000, has helped to boost the house building industry.

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said today on twitter: "This shows that Britain's hard work is paying off & the country is on the path to prosperity." And according to Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg the figures "show that we are firmly on the road to economic recovery".

But, John Longworth, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, said that whilst Britain has much to be positive about, "we are still behind a number of advanced economies such as the US and Germany that have managed to recover the output lost during the economic downturn."

Matthew Burge, Client Partner at Beavis Morgan, comments: “This is positive news for SME’s, which need to embrace the improved economic conditions. According to a recent survey by Sage, business confidence has hit a three-year high as SMEs turn to alternative methods of lending to fight funding problems. And, with the upturn in the UK economy, businesses must now focus on winning new clients and improving their cash flow in the long term.”

Office for National Statistics  – http://www.ons.gov.uk/
The Telegraph / Experian – How the economy is performing in your area
Sage Business Index 2013 – http://businessindex.sage.com/