Small businesses are more confident of growth than at any time since 2010, according to the FSB’s latest Small Business Index.

The SBI for the second quarter of 2015 found that 65.3% of small businesses aspire to grow moderately or rapidly in the next three months - the highest figure since the Index began in 2010.

In addition, nearly one-third of businesses (32%) plan to increase capital investment over the next 12 months - another record high for the SBI - while the balance of firms that have employed new staff in their firms has risen to 8.9%, a sharp increase from 2% reported 12 months ago.

Small business wage increases also hit a SBI record high, and are now in line with the economy overall with an average increase of 1.9%.

John Allan, national chairman, Federation of Small Businesses, said: The results of the Q2 Small Business Index are very positive and show the major role that small businesses play in the growth of the UK’s economy.

“It is critical the new government continues to develop the right environment to support businesses planning to grow, invest and take on new staff in the next 12 months. In the budget and its upcoming Enterprise Bill, ministers should prioritise supporting small business growth, simplify business taxes, raise skills and tackle poor payment practices.”