Small businesses are increasingly confident in the first quarter of 2013 but intentions to invest have slipped, the Federation of Small Business' (FSB) first economic report of the year has revealed.
Confidence has risen from a negative reading of -5.6 at the end of the last quarter of 2012 to +6.3, as companies see signs of recovery in the UK economy.
The small business organisation also suggested that growth figures for quarter one of 2013 would be improved on last quarter's -0.3% fall.
However, many small business owners remain reluctant to invest despite increased confidence in economic prospects. Fluctuating consumer demand and poor access to finance were cited as the main barriers to growth by the FSB's survey.
Regional Chairman for the FSB, Gordon Millward, said: "It is great news that confidence is beginning to edge up and is back in positive territory."
"This bodes well for GDP figures for quarter one and we would expect them to be better than the -0.3% recorded in Q4 2012."
Invoice finance for growth
If your small business has struggled to gain access to traditional sources of external finance over the past few months, have you considered alternative solutions?
Invoice finance is one such solution, which works to release cash tied up in unpaid invoices.