The domestic turnover of small businesses suffered a 7% decrease between Q4 2011 and Q1 2012, according to a recent business survey.
A slow start to the year was further confirmed by the survey as export turnover decreased by 9% over the same period. Year-on-year export turnover brought better news, however, with an increase of 68% on Q1 2011.
The recruitment sector suffered the most with a year-on-year contraction in turnover of 11%. The manufacturing and distribution sectors saw a 5% and 6% year-on-year decline respectively.
Experts believe the results reflect the uncertain economic climate and that the poor manufacturing and distribution figures have contributed to the UK falling back into recession
Despite these negative figures, the survey revealed that invoice payment times have fallen with both domestic and overseas customers. Between Q4 2011 and Q1 2012 export payment times fell from 63 days to 60 while the domestic market showed an average of 1.5 days.