Business Confidence among UK tradespeople at highest level since July 2018

Business confidence among UK tradespeople is now at its highest level since July 2018, according to research released by omnichannel retailer, Screwfix.

Screwfix’s Business Confidence Index includes a range of measures, and almost all of them rose in July, as part of the company’s regular survey of the trade. The measures which rose include the percentage of tradespeople busier than expected, those preparing more quotes than 12 months ago, and those who say business activity is better than last year. 

The Business Confidence index has risen to +35 from +33 in May and +5 in January*. This measure is now at its highest level since July 2018.

The only measure not to rise in June 2021 was the proportion who think their business activity will improve in the next 12 months, although more still think it will improve in the next year than believe it will get worse.

Reported workloads remain high with 86% of the trade now working, with more work in the pipeline.

The survey is the first in a regular series of insights about the trade from Screwfix.

L12M = Last 12 months N12M = Next 12 months

John Mewett, CEO of Screwfix, commented: “Not only have tradespeople continued to work throughout the last 18 months, but it’s clear many of them have confidence for their businesses for the future, with our Index showing optimism is at its highest level for three years.

“This is very encouraging. To ensure we play our part in helping our customers get their jobs done and make the most of their business opportunities, we continue to expand our store network by opening at least 50 UK stores this year, bringing Screwfix closer to even more tradespeople.”

To subscribe to these regular Screwfix surveys, please email


*Screwfix Trade Pulse is an index which surveyed 499 UK tradespeople to track work levels and optimism among the trade.

*Four questions feed into the Business Confidence Index. A net score is calculated for each measure e.g. for “What do you expect business activity to be like over the next 12 months?”, the percentage of those saying their activity has got a lot or a little worse is subtracted from the percentage saying their activity has got a lot or a little better. These net scores for each measure are shown in the monthly Trade Pulse report. The score for the index is then calculated by taking an average score of the four individual net scores feeding into each index.