At no time in modern history have there been more businesses in the UK than there are today. Also, the number continues to grow. The first fiscal quarter of this year, the Office of National Statistics revealed that 2.17 million separate businesses were registered for tax. That’s up slightly from the previous high watermark of 2.16 million in 2008. The number of businesses is up 0.9% from last year.
London is Open for Business
Not surprisingly, most of the UK businesses are located in the capital city of London. A full 17.2% of all UK businesses are doing so in London. At 3.5%, the metropolis also saw the largest number of new businesses open shop between last year and this year. That makes for another 13,000 new businesses.
The southeast of the country is doing well also. 15.7% of all businesses call this part of the country home.
Entrepreneurialism is Well
The popularity of the TV shows Dragons and Apprentice are a solid indication that the entrepreneur sprit is thriving in the UK. Of the new businesses opening in the past year, 3,000 were in the property profession. The total number now stands at 80,000 property related businesses.
The catchall category of ‘professional, scientific, and technical’ businesses realized an increase of 14,000 new firms over the past year. Ethnic owned businesses are also adding to the economy. The Indian economy is especially active in and around London. However, the service sector is the star of the economic show with its strongest growth in the past 16 years. Recent estimates of business job growth is a 0.8% gain during July and September. The dominate services sector is expected to have delivered the lion’s share of growth.
But All News is Not Good
Just reading the numbers can give the impression that all is well with the economy. However, you need to remember how far down it was when the recovery began. This is the most drawn out economic recovery in the past 100 years. Employment has hit a new high of almost 30 million. But annual wage growth is at a new low of a measly 0.8%.
With the government providing much of the economic stimulus, the recovery is likely to slow further when these schemes have run the course. It’s still too soon to breathe a breath of relief that all the bad news is behind us.