UK business confidence remains high

Despite the well documented challenges facing UK businesses, a new survey has shown that three quarters of companies say they expect to grow in 2023.

The JP Morgan research highlighted the determination among business leaders to keep adding to their headcount in the face of recession and slow growth. “We know 2022 was a challenging year for many businesses as they tried to recover from the pandemic amid fierce economic headwinds, and this upcoming year will bring its own set of challenges,” said Catherine Pierre, Head of Commercial Banking, U.K., J.P. Morgan.

However, it’s heartening to see the resilience U.K. decision makers are showing by focusing on recession-proofing and remaining optimistic about growth. It gives hope that U.K business confidence remains high and they believe they can weather the storm ahead and emerge on the other side stronger.

In a survey of more than 300 senior executives from U.K. midsize companies, many say they are feeling confident in what they can control: their own companies. Nearly three in four (73%) business leaders say they’re optimistic about their company’s performance, down 7% from 2022, and nearly nine in ten (89%) expect their revenues to increase or remain the same in the year ahead.

However, there remain some significant headwinds that continue to concern UK firms. Energy prices were cited as the biggest external threat to businesses by a quarter (25%) of respondents, overshadowing general market volatility (15%), the cost of debt and interest rates (13%) and threats of competition (11%).

Although energy price concerns dominate, supply chain issues remain. While it’s true that many of the acute supply chain problems linked to the pandemic and Brexit have faded from the headlines, nearly two thirds (63%) of business leaders say supply chain pressures have worsened in the last year. A similar number (62%) say increased costs related to supply chain issues are driving the cost of business higher.

“This is an intriguing snapshot of the state of the UK economy,” says Paul Beare, who helps businesses set up and follow their growth story in the UK. “There’s no doubt businesses are facing a lot of challenges this year but it’s also true that with the right advice they can plan ahead and manage a lot of the risks that the economy presents.

“We’re working with a whole range of innovative companies and we’re constantly amazed at how resilient UK growth companies are,” Paul says.

Whether it’s through developing new products and services or simply going the extra mile for their customers, they demonstrate every day how a successful business can weather even the toughest storms.

Getting the right advice and ensuring you have all your financial management needs met can make a big difference to your growth story.  We’re right here for all your needs, and you can contact us for help and support in a number of areas, from tax and payroll to accounting and banking.