Smaller companies buck national trend

SMALL and medium sized businesses across the region are bucking a slowdown in the national economy – but at the expense of jobs – says a report from leading accountants and business advisers PKF.

SMALL and medium sized businesses across the region are bucking a slowdown in the national economy – but at the expense of jobs – says a report from leading accountants and business advisers PKF.

Strong output growth and increasing order books have nevertheless led to falling staffing levels, as businesses in the eastern region attempt to improve efficiency and accommodate price cuts of goods and services, said Keith Ferguson, SME Partner at the company's Ipswich office.

This makes it one of the poorest performing regions in the country, said Mr Ferguson.

Staffing levels fell in all regions for the fifth quarter in succession, although, the eastern region at 49.7 compared favourably to the Midlands, the hardest hit at 47.8 and the South East at 48.9. Construction was the only sector across the UK to record employment growth at 50.6.


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Mr Ferguson said: "Despite mixed economic conditions, East Anglia's SMEs are faring better than larger companies and are continuing to record relatively good performance.

"They are achieving this through increased flexibility by declining to make long-term decisions, focusing on the here and now and getting involved in project-based deals rather than merger, acquisitions or long-term commitments."

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