Customer demand sees SMEs enjoy exceptional growth
Increasing customer demand saw small and medium-sized businesses enjoy exceptional growth in the third quarter of this year, according to a business performance monitor.
The PKF SME Index found that performance increased by a rate of 56.1, the sharpest rate for two years, across businesses in the services, construction and manufacturing sectors.
The construction sector recorded the sharpest rate of growth at 57.5 while business activity for small and medium sized manufacturers expanded for the fifth consecutive quarter. The growth in output was matched by healthy order books across the sectors, with businesses in the service sector reporting the highest increase in sales.
Anecdotal evidence pointed to improved market conditions, increased customer demand and better marketing practices all contributing to the sustained growth. In particular, trade was boosted by the end of summer holidays and a general increase in customer orders from the UK, USA, Europe and the Middle East.
Despite the positive trend, however, it was not all plain sailing for small and medium sized business. With rising wage costs and utility bills causing input prices to rocket, firms are still being forced to increase their prices to customers.