Business News – 19th April 2017.

IMF upgrades UK growth forecast

The International Monetary Fund has upgraded its UK growth forecast again, predicting the UK economy would grow this year by 2%, an increase of 0.5 percentage points from the forecast it made in January. The IMF also upgraded its UK growth forecast for next year, from 1.4% to 1.5%.

The Daily Telegraph, Business, Page: 1     Financial Times, Page: 4   The Guardian, Page: 23     Independent i, Page: 38   The Daily Telegraph, Business, Page: 1   Daily Mail, Page: 16


SMEs confident despite challenges of Brexit

A survey of 1,000 UK SMEs found 60% are confident in the government’s ability to negotiate post-Brexit trade deals and 56% stated that the government is doing enough to support them. However, 47% feel that they’re being rushed to prepare for Brexit and 41% are concerned that importing will become more difficult post-Brexit. Lee Murphy, owner of Pandle, which conducted the survey, said: “It’s important that the Brexit negotiators keep SMEs top of mind during the talks. SMEs are the lifeblood of the UK and Brexit could easily make or break some of these businesses, especially when considering the tariffs that the EU may place on imports and exports.”

Global Banking & Finance Review

Exploring overseas markets

Brexit is making small businesses think differently with one in 10 planning to focus on exporting over the coming months, the latest SME Confidence Tracker from Bibby Financial Services reveals. Bibby chief Edward Winterton provides some tips to those looking to start trading overseas in the Mirror.

Daily Mirror, Page: 41

City welcomes chance for greater Brexit certainty

Theresa May’s plans to call a general election on 8 June have been largely welcomed by City figures who view the move as an opportunity for the PM to strengthen her hand in negotiations with the EU and perhaps fend off those backbenchers demanding a hard Brexit. Short-term uncertainty for business until June 8 is worth suffering in return for greater certainty that the PM can deliver a smooth Brexit, says CMC Markets founder Peter Cruddas, while analysts at Deutsche Bank believe “the deadline to deliver a ‘clean’ Brexit without a lengthy transitional arrangement after 2019” becomes less pressing. An increased majority for the government would also help it push through its Great Repeal Bill, the FT suggests while others say Mrs May will seek a mandate to end the triple lock on pensions and scrap the pledge to spend 0.7% of GDP on foreign aid.

The Daily Telegraph, Business, Page: 1    Financial Times, Page: 1   The Times    The Daily Telegraph, Business, Page: 1    The Times, Page: 10    BBC News   The Guardian, Page: 1   Independent i, Page: 38   Daily Mail, Page: 16

Almost half of SMEs lost money in tax self-assessment

Almost half of SMEs lost money during the digital tax submission process in the last year, according to a survey by cloud accountancy software company Pandle. The report also states that 62% of people felt prepared for the change, 20% were unaware of the changes, and 48% feared the system is now “more cumbersome”. Thirteen per cent are worried about not being “tech savvy” enough to navigate the system. The Making Tax Digital Plan is currently in testing and the study suggests there is still a lot more work to be done before the initiative is completed successfully, observers say.

IT Pro Portal   Small Business