Tech and Innovation
The latest Small Business PMI, which monitors the challenges faced and progress made by small businesses in the manufacturing, services and construction sectors, highlighted a decline in business activity in October.
Last updated: 17 Nov 2020 2 min read
October’s Small Business PMI showed a reversal of fortunes for UK SMEs, with overall business activity declining for the first time since June. This contrasted with a steady recovery during Q3 of 2020 and was led by a shrinking in output from consumer-facing service providers, linked to tighter restrictions on social mobility and hospitality amid a resurgence in the number of coronavirus cases.
Today (17 November) NatWest will be launching its SME Transformation Taskforce in response to the latest data. The launch meeting, co-chaired with the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), will bring together policymakers, business groups and others to share insights and discuss recommendations of support to spark growth in this key part of the economy.
Andrew Harrison, head of business banking at NatWest, said: “Recognising the difference between larger firms, which comparatively saw growth in October, and smaller firms, we’re convening an SME Transformation Taskforce to collaboratively discuss and develop the right support mechanisms needed to bring SMEs back to growth.”
Stephen Blackman, NatWest principal economist, added: “Business confidence looks set to remain in the doldrums, keeping companies in a cautious mode amid continued weak demand and nervousness around Brexit. Latest reports of a vaccine being rolled out in early 2021, if not earlier, point to light at the end of the tunnel for the UK’s struggling SMEs, but it’s still early days.”
To read the full report, click the link below.