The latest CBI/KPMG London Business Survey shows that, compared to six months ago, fewer London firms are making redundancies, alongside figures showing that more firms are hiring as normal. The figures include small businesses, as half of the 188 companies surveyed were SMEs (small and medium enterprises).
57% of companies included are now hiring as normal, compared to a far lower 45% just six months ago. A lower 20% of firms — down from 29% — said that they are making redundancies. Smaller businesses seem to be more optimistic regarding the prospects of their business over the next six months, rising to 57% among SMEs from 51% of all surveyed companies feeling optimistic.
However, only 43% are more optimistic about the prospect of the economy and 26% are less optimistic about the state of the economy. Fewer companies are worried about public spending cuts affecting their business, although concerns are high regarding the threat of a double-dip recession and inflation.
Plans for expansion continue to stay strong, with 65% of businesses planning to expand either in London (43%) or further afield outside the UK (36%) within the next year. CBI London regional director, Sara Parker, said: “It’s great news to see that more London firms are hiring as normal and redundancies have fallen. Many businesses are planning to expand, but this optimism is clearly tempered by uncertainty about the economy.”