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Two-thirds of UK businesses worried about this quarter’s outlook

Figures released today by R3, the insolvency trade body, show that just one in three businesses (39%) feel that the outlook for the first three months of 2010 looks positive.

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 per cent of businesses are feeling positive about this quarter, only eight per cent 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 per cent of manufacturing businesses feel positive compared with 34 per cent of those in the services industry.

  • Business confidence is at 44 per cent in the South compared with 37 per cent in the North.

  • Business confidence correlates to the business’s size. 38 per cent of small businesses are confident about the future, compared with 48 per cent of large firms.

Note to editors: 300 small businesses (turnover £50,000 to £1million) and 200 medium/large businesses (turnover £1million+) were interviewed by Continental Research by telephone between 2nd November and 13th November 2009. Quotas are set by size, region and sector and the data weighted to the profile of GB businesses of this size. The respondent is a senior financial decision maker - often the owner in a small business and in larger businesses the FD or Financial Controller.

Between the 9th and 26th October 2009, ComRes conducted an online survey of R3 members in the UK. The survey was sent to 2082 IPs, of whom 372 responded. This means that approximately one in six of those eligible to take part did so.

R3 Press Office

Notes to editors:

  • R3 is the trade body for Insolvency Professionals and represents the UK’s Insolvency Practitioners.

  • R3 comments on a wide variety of personal and corporate insolvency issues. Contact the press office, or see for further information.

  • R3 promotes best practice for professionals working with financially troubled individuals and businesses; all R3 members are regulated by recognised professional bodies
  • R3 stands for 'Rescue, Recovery, and Renewal' and is also known as the Association of Business Recovery Professionals.