From American Express – The world’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are forecasting slower revenue and profit growth, according to the third annual Global SME Pulse: Smart Strategies to Improve the Bottom Line, conducted by Oxford Economics on behalf of American Express. Despite forecasts, global SMEs are developing strategies to sustain their top and bottom line and feel positive about the importance of their role in the economy.
The research, carried out among senior executives and decision-makers at SMEs across 12 countries, found that 78% of global SMEs say they continue to feel that SMEs are important to the overall health of the economy.
Global SMEs say they will be under increased pressure to sustain their bottom line in 2019. For U.S. SMEs, growing revenues and building company reputation are the most important long-term objectives (87% and 56% of respondents respectively), marking a shift since 2018 where the top three priorities for U.S. SMEs were profit margin growth (62%), revenue growth (57%) and building a company’s reputation (41%). Global SMEs have also scaled down their growth predictions for the future, with average predicted annual revenue growth for the next three years dropping from 6.9% to 5.2% and average predicted annual profit margin for the next three years decreasing from 5.7% last year to 4.7%.