Government report reveals service industry was strongest sector in 2014 with 77% of the UK’s total output

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The Department of Business, Innovation and Skills’ (DBIS) Growth Dashboard for 2014 has revealed encouraging signs of continued growth in the UK economy. Employment is above its pre-recession level with 60% employees of small and mid-sized businesses and those businesses accounting for 47% of turnover.

The service industry was by far the sector that contributed most to the economy in 2014 with 77% of the UK’s total output, followed by manufacturing (10%), construction (7%), production (1%) and agriculture (1%).

Thanks to an attractive tax system, the UK is the top country in the EU for attracting exports, and is forecasted to grow by 2.4% in 2015 with business investment growing by 26.1% from 2010 to 2014. In the same period private sector employment has risen by 2.2 million, and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has increased by 3%.

The study also revealed that the rate of decline in net lending to small and mid-sized businesses is slowing, with 8% seeking a new or renewed loan or overdraft in 2014 Q3, 1% up on 2013 but still below the 2011 peak of 12%. The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) reported that small firms achieved an increase in turnover and profit last year.

Although 2015 is expected to be largely positive the report flags up a number of recurring concerns for small and mid-sized businesses – 16% think the economic climate is an issue, followed by legislation and regulation (12%), late payment causing cashflow issues (9%), and lastly ease of access to finance (7%).

View the Growth Dashboard here