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ALMOST three quarters of small and medium sized businesses across the UK plan to give their employees a pay rise in the next 12 months, according to a survey.

Of that number, 36% say that everyone will receive a rise while 39% say the increases will be decided on merit.

Region Intention to give pay rises in 2015
National 74%
North East 75%
North West 77%
Yorkshire & Humberside 67%
East Midlands 71%
West Midlands 75%
East Anglia 65%
Greater London 80%
South East 81%
South West 69%
Mike Randall

Mike Randall

The figures come from the most recent Close Brothers Business Barometer, a quarterly survey that canvasses the opinion of SME owners and senior management from a range of sectors across the UK on a number of financial and economic issues.

CEO of Close Brothers Asset Finance, Mike Randall states: “It’s encouraging that so many businesses across all regions appear to be optimistic and in a financial position to reward their employees with an increased pay packet.

“While on the surface this is good news for workers across the country, we should be aware that the Bank of England is watching pay closely, as an indicator of when the right time will be to increase interest rates.

“They’ve also warned that unless wage increases are accompanied by a rise in productivity then they will have to move more quickly on rates as inflationary pressure mounts,” he added.

The Business Barometer also revealed that 76% of business owners surveyed are optimistic about their prospects for the year ahead, with 41% confident that their business will expand during 2015.

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