The latest estimates from the ONS show that business investment increased by 1.4 percent (£400 million) in quarter three compared to quarter two. This, says the ONS, is the strongest growth since Q1 2012 (3.6 percent).
Gross fixed capital formation (GFCF) was also estimated to have increased by 1.4 percent (£700 million) to £53.3 billion.
Commenting on how growing access to finance has impacted on these figures Adam Tyler, CEO of the National Association of Commercial Finance Brokers (NACFB), said:
"Confidence is washing back into the economy which is bumping up business investment. After months of uncertainty, companies are beginning to upgrade their buildings, equipment and other assets to take advantage of the improving climate. In the third quarter of 2013 alone, they invested 1.4% more than in the previous three months with an extra £0.4bn pushing total business investment to £29.1bn.
"Businesses are taking steps to strengthen for a period of renewed growth. In particular, they are choosing to spend on transport equipment (up 26% on the last quarter to £2.1bn), dwellings (up 0.7% to £13.3bn) and new machinery (up 0.1% to £9.8bn). The real driving force behind this growing investment is that it's becoming easier for businesses to access finance. And the variety of funding options available is also on the rise.
"Asset finance – which provides loans for equipment purchase using the asset as collateral – now makes up almost a quarter (22%) of alternative lending to SMEs, up from just 7% five years ago.** Flexible funding options are essential for businesses to fully take advantage of the growing economy and increase their resources to pre-recession levels, with commercial brokers able to help businesses find investment beyond the high street."
Adam Tyler also commented on company survival rates in today's business demography figures:
"Wider access to commercial funding is making it easier for the seed of a new business idea to grow into a successful fledgling company. More businesses are hitting their first birthday without the obstacles in their path – funding, legalities, staffing – uprooting them. In 2012, 93% of new businesses successfully celebrated a year, up from 87% the year before, and the increasing birth rate bodes well for the continuing growth of the UK economy."
** According to NACFB data on commercial lending to SMEs, 2013