Independent professionals are confident in the economy and their own business, according to a new report by IPSE, the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed.

The latest IPSE Freelancer Confidence Index found 41 percent of freelancers are confident in their business performance improving in the next 12 months, versus a quarter (25%) who are not confident.

While confidence is high, freelancers are also reporting rising business costs. Almost half (46%) expect their overall costs to rise in the next 12 months. IPSE fears a number of measures outlined in the Budget, from increased tax dividends, reduction in the number of businesses that can claim travel and subsistence costs and potentially toughening up of IR35 tax regulations could all push business costs even higher.

Commenting on the report, IPSE chief executive Chris Bryce, says:

“It’s great to see people who work for themselves are confident in their business prospects even as they report their business costs increasing. We’re very concerned that the tough measures outlined in the Summer Budget will push costs up to the extent that many freelancers will reconsider their line of work.”

“The UK needs a robust, confident self-employed community to give our labour market the flexibility it needs to compete in a global marketplace. The people who take the risks associated with self-employment need to be supported in their endeavours.

Rich Pearson, SVP of marketing and categories at Upwork, says:

“A confident freelance community is good for the economy. Experts predict that by 2025, online talent platforms could boost global GDP by $2.7 trillion, so it’s encouraging to see this group feeling so buoyant. While high business costs could discourage people from making the leap to work for themselves, sentiment among freelancers gives us hope that they will continue to thrive despite those challenges”