In a sign, perhaps, of just how perilous the economic situation remains for the whole of Europe in 2022, it has been reported that UK business confidence declined to a record low in June but still managed to be the highest on the continent in addition to being above the global trend.
That apparently somewhat contradictory state of affairs was set out by a business outlook survey reported on by Business Leader.
The magazine stated in the UK, there was a net balance of 28% more private-sector businesses predicting that their activity levels would go up over the course of the next year. This is a long way short of the +56% reading for February and the joint-lowest since this particular survey began to be carried out in 2009.
However, it’s still a healthier reading than the +16% EU average, as well as the +22% global average.
Inflation driving up costs continues to be a big worry for UK businesses
With inflation continuing its recent steep rise in the UK – largely due to heightened energy costs – UK firms responding to the poll suggested that they expected profit margins to be pushed down as a result. In fact, the most recent edition of the survey was the first to record a negative reading for profit forecasts of -2%.
It is clear from the data that firms are worried about their ability to pass on increased costs to customers. +59% of businesses anticipate that their output charges will go up, which is the second-highest score on record for this survey, behind only the +62% that was seen in February.
Much has also been said in recent times about businesses having to pay more for staff, and there wasn’t much change in this regard in the latest edition of the index. +80% of the businesses questioned predicted higher employee wages, which was only slightly lower than the +83% previously recorded.
What about the challenges surrounding those famously constrained supply chains in recent times? Well, there was hope for manufacturers in this regard in the latest survey results, as their expectations for non-staff costs were the lowest they had been in 12 months.
On a sector-by-sector basis, producers of electrical and transport goods exhibited the greatest level of optimism, at +63%, on the grounds of such factors as new product opportunities, sustainable investment, and reduced metal prices.
Hospitality firms, though, suffered from the effects of the cost-of-living crisis making consumers more cautious about spending on travel, dining, and leisure. It perhaps shouldn’t be too surprising, then, that businesses in this sector gave a -4% confidence verdict, with this being the first negative outlook posted by hospitality businesses for almost four years.
Is your business well-placed to weather constant and unpredictable change?
We are in curious times indeed for ‘UK plc’, as demonstrated by data like the above. The chances are that you will feel uncertain as to what conditions you are likely to be conducting business in, even in six months or a year’s time – and of course, the political uncertainty brought by the ongoing Conservative Party leadership contest is unlikely to have helped with that.
So, why not set in place solid foundations of support for your business by joining forces with one of the leading accounting and payroll companies in Plymouth, Wellington, and Newton Abbot? Enquire with our team at TS Partners today, and we will be pleased to assist with your particular needs.
There are now as many businesses in the UK that intend to reduce investment as there are firms that plan to increase it, a new poll has indicated. As The Guardian has reported, the Institute of Direct…
UK-registered companies can now apply for a portion of £12.5 million in funding for collaborative research projects to increase domestic production of healthy and sustainable farm-based protein. The …
As businesses up and down the UK continue to face ever-greater challenges arising from a combination of escalating costs and soaring inflation, Logistics UK has urged the Chancellor of the Exchequer t…
A new report has revealed the damage that swelling costs are causing to the already crippled profit margins of UK companies, with experts issuing stark warnings on the likely consequences for the broa…
R&D tax relief claims are taking longer to process, leading to longer waiting times for companies expecting the tax relief. HMRC has been forced to take action to reduce fraudulent claims. Those p…
New research was undertaken by a leading professional services company, and the accounting software specialist Xero has made alarming discoveries on the subject of many firms’ tendency to lose money…
As companies up and down the UK continue to struggle with escalating inflation and economic uncertainty, Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak has been warned that time is running out to put togethe…
In common with the rest of the UK, the country’s business world has been gripped in recent days by the fast-moving events leading up to the resignation of Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Unsurprisin…
With effect from 6th July 2022, low-paid workers across the UK are getting to benefit from reduced rates of Income Tax and National Insurance. However, at least one key business leader has warned that…
On 23rd June, HM Revenue & Customs released its data concerning the ‘tax gap’ for the 2020 to 2021 tax year. The non-ministerial department said that the estimated ‘tax gap’ – defined as…
With Thursday 16th June having been National Freelancers Day, it is fascinating to see the recently released data indicating that many firms have called upon freelance skills to an even greater extent…
As a business owner, you will naturally want to make the most of all available resources and sources of support to better your firm’s survival and growth prospects. That’s just one reason why you …
Farmers in England can apply for between £25,000 and £300,000 in funding to help promote their business and increase their produce’s value. The funding is available through the new £30M Farmi…
To say that recent months have presented stern challenges for businesses would be quite the understatement – and recent research has shed greater light on precisely what keeps small-business owners …
The Plymouth Workplace Travel Grants are a part of Plymouth City Council’s Productive Plymouth Programme to promote sustainable transport measures. The grants are funded by the Department for Tr…
There was, unsurprisingly, further bad news for ‘UK plc’ in the latest Government figures, with the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealing that the economy declined by a larger than antici…
UK registered organisations can apply for a share of up to £12 million for creative, new and improved sustainable maritime projects. This funding is from The Department for Transport. Entries open: W…
Escalating costs continue to be a matter pressing on the minds of individuals and businesses alike. However, while the former has now received some much-needed help with their energy bills from Chance…