Business Leaders Outlook
2023 Business Leaders Outlook: U.K.
Our survey shows optimism about the economy has fallen sharply amid recession concerns—but some bright spots remain.
Business leaders across the U.K. are far less optimistic about the economy than they were a year ago, according to our 2023 Business Leaders Outlook survey. Less than half (46%) have a positive outlook about the global economy today; last year, nearly two-thirds (66%) were optimistic.
Optimism around the national economy has fallen as well—to 44% from 58% last year. Notably, 69% of business leaders in the U.K. said they expect a recession in 2023. That’s higher than their counterparts in the United States (65%), India (61%), Germany (59%), France (53%) and Australia (46%).
But there are some bright spots. Nearly nine in 10 (89%) business leaders expect their revenues to increase or remain the same in 2023. A similar percentage (88%) said they will increase or maintain capital spending. And nearly three-fourths of companies expect to add or keep employees; a similar amount (73%) say they’re optimistic about their company’s performance.
More than two-thirds of U.K. business leaders believe a recession is likely in 2023.
Views on economy
Leaders are far less optimistic about the global economy than they were
12 months ago.
Despite their negative views of the economy, most leaders expect to add or keep staff.
Most businesses (88%) expect capital spending to grow or stay the same; only 12% believe it will drop.
Many U.K. businesses are still struggling with snarled supply chains around the world.
While most leaders believe profits will rise, it’s a decline from last year’s expectations.
Economic outlook and expectations
Less than half of U.K. business leaders are optimistic about the global, national and regional economies. But their pessimism doesn’t carry over to how they feel about their own industries and companies.
Optimism on the decline
The drop in optimism has been steep. A year ago, nearly two-thirds of business leaders were optimistic about the global economy. Today, less than half have a positive outlook.
Bullish on their own businesses
The vast majority of businesses (89%) expect their revenues to grow or hold steady in 2023. A similar amount (88%) expect their capital expenditures to increase or remain the same.
Leaders generally don’t expect many changes due to recent elections. The one outlier? Inflation, with roughly half thinking it will get worse.
U.K. business leaders face multiple challenges today. Among them: persistent inflation, high energy prices, snarled supply chains and a shortage of workers.
Business transitions and growth plans
About the survey
In its second year, the J.P. Morgan Business Leaders Outlook: U.K. survey is a snapshot capturing the concerns and expectations of senior business leaders whose companies have annual revenues between £20 million and £2 billion.
This year, 306 respondents completed the online survey between 21 November and 8 December, 2022. Results are within statistical parameters for validity; the error rate is plus or minus 5.6% at the 95% confidence interval.
Company by industry
Government: 2%; healthcare: 7%; higher education: 3%; home services: 8%; industrials: 2%; manufacturing: 18%; media/entertainment/advertising: 2%; oil and gas: 3%; other professional/non-finance: 3%; real estate: 2%; restaurants/food services: 2%; technology: 20%; transportation/logistics 5%; wholesale/retail: 17%; other: 7%
Note: Some numbers may not equal 100% due to rounding.
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