Two-thirds of businesses worried about this quarter

The figures come as no surprise to R3's president, Peter Sargent, who acknowledges that: "The early stages of an economy's recovery can be a dangerous time for businesses.

"Interestingly, businesses seem more confident about the future than insolvency experts. Our figures show that, whilst 39% of businesses are feeling positive about this quarter, only 8% of insolvency experts are positive about the outlook for businesses for the same period. Insolvency practitioners know that creditors tend to act more aggressively as we come out of a recession and corporate insolvencies continue to rise."

The research also finds:

  • Businesses in the manufacturing industry are the most positive about the future. 53% of manufacturing businesses feel positive compared with 34% of those in the services industry.
  • Business confidence is at 44% in the South compared with 37% in the North.
  • Business confidence correlates to the business's size. 38% of small businesses are confident about the future, compared with 48% of large firms.