'Resilient' freelancers less upbeat on economy

More than half of freelancers have a less confident outlook for the UK economy over the next 12 months when compared to the last year, a report has warned.

In fact, 52% of freelancers are downbeat about the fiscal picture, which represents a significant decline from their confident outlook in 2015’s last quarter, found IPSE.

A further majority of one-person businesses fear that the costs of freelancing are going to increase in the next 12 months, although this concern was expressed by slightly fewer freelancers than in February.

Seemingly more positive is the finding that more than two thirds of the self-employed are ‘as confident or more confident’ in their business outlook for the year ahead when compared to the previous 12 months.

Yet IPSE’s headline index score indicates freelancers’ confidence in their business over the next 12 months stands at +4.9, down from +9.8 in Q4 2015.

When taken alongside the other findings though, which IPSE collated after it surveyed its one-man band members, the overall impression of the freelance workforce is that they remain a hardy bunch.

“This survey shows that freelancers are resilient,” said IPSE’s chief executive Chris Bryce.

“Most remain confident in their business even as they are less sure about how the economy will shape up in the next 12 months. Because they work flexibly, freelancers are in many ways much better equipped to deal with a volatile economic picture.”

One finding that bodes well, both for the economy and for freelancers’ profits, is that during the first three months of this year, freelancers recorded just 2.1 weeks out of contract.

IPSE reflected: “This is the nearest to 100 per cent capacity (84%) that freelancers have been operating at for the past 12 months.”

 

12th May 2016

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