UK Business Outlook Report – March 2021

IHS Markit and Accenture have released their March 2021 UK Business Outlook Report. This report reveals how confident UK businesses feel about their prospects for the next 12 months. This report specifically focusses on businesses abilities to bounce back this year, through forecasts of hiring and growth plans and how the vaccine progress lifts global business confidence.

Please find below some of the key highlights from the report:

  • Resurgent UK business optimism driven by services rebound
  • Service sector expectations widely exceed the global benchmark
  • Brexit worries limit the recovery in manufacturing optimism
  • Capex plans return to growth amid pivot and tech spending
  • Profits outlook are the strongest for over 5 and a half years, despite rising cost pressures

Commenting on the report, Rachel Barton, Strategy & Consulting Lead at Accenture said: “After a tough year it is encouraging to see business confidence bouncing back. Although we are not out of the woods yet, it is important for UK business to take advantage of this confidence in order to build a sustainable recovery. Change is a constant factor at the moment, but a positive mindset can be a self-fulfilling prophecy so hopefully companies will follow through on the investment and growth plans we see in this survey to take us through the economic downturn. As some of the uncertainty recedes, we are seeing business leaders across industries planning to hire and invest, taking advantage of this newfound confidence to transform their operations for a new era. This is a good early sign, but we need to see more if the recovery is to be sustainable. There has been a seismic shift in the prevalence and importance of technology over the past year. When combined with human ingenuity, technology will unlock productivity gains and growth opportunities, giving rise to a boom in better and more efficient businesses. The time to invest is now – those that do will capitalise on the new business cycle.”

Also commenting, Andrew Brindley, Director at AJ Recruitment said: “The Confidence in recovery is most evident when you look at the hiring plans of businesses, as hiring was up +30% in February which was the highest it’s been since June 2015. We have seen this trend continue as we move further along the governments lockdown roadmap and as a result the demand for our services has increased. We expect this momentum will continue and move at pace as we head towards the warmer months.”

This report allows you to benchmark your business against the backdrop of the wider economy. I hope you find it useful to help you measure and understand where Social Care as a sector sits against the wider picture.


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