Business Leaders Outlook United Kingdom

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.   

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.

Economic outlook for 2023

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.

Global economy optimism

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.

Business expectations

Election effects

Leaders generally don’t expect many changes due to recent elections. The one outlier? Inflation, with roughly half thinking it will get worse.

Sentiment following the 2022 elections

Business challenges

U.K. business leaders face multiple challenges today. Among them: persistent inflation, high energy prices, snarled supply chains and a shortage of workers.

Top ways companies are adapting to inflation
What’s driving up the cost of doing business
Top responses to the labour shortage
Top external business threats
77% are considering investing in renewable sources of energy as a result of rising energy prices
Cyberattacks experienced in last 6 months

Social responsibility

Top areas of focus within corporate responsibility
Top objectives motivating corporate responsibility

Business transitions and growth plans

Plans for business transfer
Timeline to transfer business
Growth strategies for the next 12 months

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.

Who took the survey
Company size by number of employees
Company size by annual revenue

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.


Vis Raghavan, Head of EMEA  J.P. Morgan

Vis Raghavan

Chief Executive Officer EMEA J.P. Morgan

Charlie Jacobs, Co-Head of Investment Banking, U.K. J.P. Morgan

Charlie Jacobs

Co-Head of Investment Banking, U.K. J.P. Morgan

Richard Sheppard, Co-Head of Investment Banking, U.K. J.P. Morgan

Richard Sheppard

Co-Head of Investment Banking, U.K. J.P. Morgan

Catherine Pierre, Head of Commercial Banking, U.K. J.P. Morgan

Catherine Pierre

Head of Commercial Banking, U.K. J.P. Morgan

Jack Counterman, Head of Treasury Services, U.K. J.P. Morgan

Jack Counterman

Head of Treasury Services, U.K. J.P. Morgan

Pierre Maman, Vice Chairman, Head of Debt Financing, EMEA, Commercial Banking J.P. Morgan

Pierre Maman

Vice Chairman, Head of Debt Financing, EMEA, Commercial Banking J.P. Morgan

JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. Member FDIC. Visit for disclosures and disclaimers related to this content.