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GTMC third quarterly review shows that caution continues despite strong SME growth

The third quarterly 2015 review (July-September 2015) from the GTMC’s transaction survey has revealed that the aggregated transactions of its members have increased by seven per cent year-on-year (comparing Q3 2015 with Q3 2014). This comes as the UK’s GDP growth slowed to 0.5 per cent in Q3 but showed a 2.3 per cent increase year-on-year and is still showing the second strongest growth of the G7 countries, behind the U.S.

SME growth is a big driver of business travel and is proving critical in supporting the UK economy. In 2014, SMEs generated a turnover of £1.6 trillion, compared with £2 trillion generated by larger companies. The GTMC’s quarterly review has demonstrated that as the number of SMEs rises and they generate more in turnover, the more business travel grows. This correlation may not be as hard and fast as these charts show as large company turnover has also grown, however, growth of SMEs is incredibly positive for the future of UK plc.  

The Chinese economy is beginning to stabilise – official figures show a quarter three increase of 6.9 per cent – which is positive news for UK businesses keen to drive growth outside of the comfort zone that is the European and American market. According to the purchasing managers’ report within our quarterly survey findings, the source of new orders is found in the Middle East, East Asia and the U.S.  

GTMC chief executive, Paul Wait, commented: “We remain cautiously positive but there is still a lot more work to be done. Despite the growth in SMEs, the economic news for many of the UK’s trading partners has not been good. With recent world events also taken into consideration, this supports our drive to encourage business in emerging markets. For this we need greater airport capacity to reach these markets. The evidence is here to show that the recent announcement of the continued procrastination from the government on this matter is nothing but detrimental to the health of the UK’s economy. Positive figures from British SMEs are not enough to support the required growth for the country to compete globally in the mid-long term.”  

The GTMC’s membership accounts for over 80 per cent of UK expenditure on managed business travel. The quarterly survey monitors a range of services offered by travel management companies and highlights trends in the business travel sector.  

Representing a diverse range of travel management companies – from global companies to small independent specialists and top regional agencies – the Guild of Travel Management Companies (GTMC) is the voice of business travel and acts to lobby those who have an impact on the business travel community, together with promoting the activities of its members as the best in quality and value to the business traveller.

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