Most British bosses expect growth in 2022 but voice post-Brexit concerns over trade, survey finds

Mon 15 Nov 2021
Posted by: William Barns-Graham
Trade News

UK recovery

Four in five British bosses believe both the economy and their own businesses will improve in the next 12 months, a new report has found.

Ipsos Mori’s annual ‘Captains of Industry’ survey, reported in the FT, found levels of optimism not since before the Brexit referendum in 2016.

Most of the UK’s top executives are increasingly confident about growth despite worries over recruitment, Brexit and the pandemic.

More than 100 top executives were interviewed for the report.

Uncertainty

Economic uncertainty and the effects of the pandemic remain the biggest concerns, although less so than last year.

However, many respondents were negative over the impact of the UK leaving the EU. Three-quarters fear the loss of trade with the EU will outweigh gains from new trade deals.

Less than a fifth thought that the government was doing enough to help their businesses compete internationally.

A fifth of bosses strongly disagreed that the government stood a good chance of improving the economy if given another term, and a quarter had no confidence in its post-pandemic economic recovery strategy.

Can’t get the staff

Ongoing labour shortages are reflected in the latest survey as more than a third said maintaining staff levels was one of their biggest concerns, rising from a quarter last year.

Two-thirds of respondents think the UK’s post-Brexit immigration policy will hamper the country’s economic recovery from Covid.

The executives also raised concerns over the impact of the pandemic on future working practices. More than two-thirds predict the majority of their UK staff will split their time between the office and home.

Slowing recovery

The latest economic growth figures from the ONS show Britain’s recovery slowed over the summer due to the ‘pingdemic’ and global supply shortages, reports the Guardian

National output expanded by 1.3% in the three months to September, leaving it 2.1% below its pre-crisis level in the fourth quarter of 2019.