UK B2B Economic Outlook – Summer 2023
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“While the UK economy is now expected to narrowly avoid falling into recession in 2023, stubbornly high inflation remains of concern. The inflation rate is expected to slow in the…

UK B2B Economic Outlook – Summer 2023

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“While the UK economy is now expected to narrowly avoid falling into recession in 2023, stubbornly high inflation remains of concern. The inflation rate is expected to slow in the second half of 2023, on the back of falling energy prices and the easing of global supply pressures, but it will remain well above the Bank of England’s 2% target. A falling inflation rate means that prices are rising more slowly than before, but it does not mean that price levels are actually falling, with cost of living pressures continuing in the near-term.”
–    Claudia Preedy, Principal Analyst

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • Summary
    • Sluggish UK economic growth
    • Inflation remains stubbornly high
    • Bank rate hits 4.5% in May 2023
    • UK public sector sees record high borrowing
    • Unemployment rate remains low in historic context
    • Business health
    • Business investment
    • Businesses confidence
    • Business births and deaths
    • Special focus: utilities
    • What’s next?
  2. Economic Overview

    • UK economic growth remains sluggish
      • Figure 1: UK GDP, 2016-2023, (% quarter-on-quarter change)
      • Figure 2: Monthly output index of UK sectors, 2020-23
    • Consumer price inflation
      • Figure 3: Consumer Price Index, 2020 – 23, (12-month Rate)
    • Bank rate
      • Figure 4: UK Bank of England interest base rate, 2020-23 (%)
    • Public sector borrowing
      • Figure 5: Public sector net borrowing excluding public sector banks, 2008-22
      • Figure 6: Public sector debt compared with GDP, 2008-23 (% of GDP)
    • Earnings growth
      • Figure 7: Real average weekly earnings, total pay, 2020-22, (three month average % change year-on-year, seasonally adjusted)
    • Employment and unemployment
      • Figure 8: UK employment rate, July-September 2008-23, (%)
      • Figure 9: UK unemployment rate, September-November 2008-23, (%)
  3. Business Health

    • Business investment
      • Figure 10: Seasonally adjusted business investment, 2000-2023, (Index)
    • Businesses confidence
      • Figure 11: ICAEW UK National Business ConfidenceTM index, 2016 – 23
    • Productivity
      • Figure 12: UK productivity measured by output per hour, 2012 – 22
    • Business births and deaths
      • Figure 13: Business births and deaths, 2018-23, (number)
  4. Special Focus: Utilities

    • Gas and electricity consumption
      • Figure 14: Consumption of electricity, by sector, 2012-22
      • Figure 15: Consumption of natural gas, by sector, 2012-22
    • Total household expenditure on energy
      • Figure 16: UK household expenditure on energy, 2012-22, (£ million)
    • Wholesale gas prices
      • Figure 17: Average wholesale gas prices, forward delivery contracts, 2021-23
    • The economic contribution of the energy and water and sewerage sectors
      • Figure 18: GVA generated by the electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply sector, 2016-22, (£ million at current price estimates)
      • Figure 19: GVA generated by the water supply and sewerage sector, 2013-18, (£ million at current price estimates)
    • Clean energy transition, security of supply and increased energy independence to drive capital investment in UK energy sector
      • Figure 20: Low-carbon power generation capacity targets, 2022
      • Figure 21: Investment in the electricity and gas industries, 2016-21, (£ billion)
    • Investment in water and sewerage industry
      • Figure 22: UK capital expenditure on water and sewerage services, 2017-22
    • Longer-term trend in water and sewerage capital expenditure
  5. What’s Next?

    • The economy
      • Figure 23: Measures of GDP, CPI and Bank Rates, Q4 2022-25, (%)
    • Unemployment
      • Figure 24: Forecast unemployment, Q2 2023-26
  6. Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

    • Abbreviations

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