The UK has the highest proportion of super-growth medium-sized businesses in Europe, according to a report by accountancy firm Grant Thornton.
The Super Growth Index 2005 questioned 6,300 medium-sized businesses, defined as those with between 50 and 249 staff, across 24 countries. It revealed that one quarter of UK respondents showed a five per cent growth on the previous year.
Although the US topped the overall poll with 48 per cent growth, the UK topped the European poll with 25 per cent of its medium-size companies classified as super-growth.
Jim Rogers, head of growth and strategic services at Grant Thornton, said super growth means growth much higher than the global average.
"Every business wants stability before it can take risks; the UK is in a period of long macro-economic stability. I would be surprised if next year's figures show a dramatic change. The European Union will stay consistent," he said.
In stark contrast to the UK, many European countries reported negative growth in the past year. The percentage of medium-size firms listed as super-growth decreased in France, Spain, Italy and Sweden by two, one, four and 11 per cent respectively.
David Bishop, a Federation of Small Businesses representative, said: "The UK has the right environment to foster business growth and the results are now beginning to show. We have a buoyant economy and the SME sector is the driving force behind it."
The IT and telecoms sectors have been the stars of the economy, as accountancy firm KPMG found that the number of negative warnings in these sectors had decreased by 60 per cent in 2004.
Bishop stressed, however, that the UK still has work to do to catch up with the US. "The UK is lagging behind here and it still has a long way to go," he said.
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