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Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the B2B Economic Outlook - UK market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Covered in this report

In 2019, annual GDP growth was recorded at 1% - the lowest annual growth recorded since 2009. At its 30th January 2020 meeting, the BoE’s MPC voted seven members to two to maintain the Bank Rate at 0.75% and to maintain the stock of sterling non-financial investment-grade corporate bond purchases. In December 2019, CPI hit its lowest rate in three years as there was a decline in prices in the ‘restaurants and hotels’ and ‘clothing and footwear’ sectors. The ONS reported that consumer prices rose at an annual rate of 1.3% in December 2019, down from 1.5% in November 2019, and reflected the lowest rise since November 2016.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Lewis Cone, a leading analyst in the B2B sector, his extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Although the UK leaving the EU has created uncertain times, albeit one with opportunities, a longer running issue has been that of productivity levels. Relatively low levels of investment and R&D spending have driven this stagnation and future economic policies must focus around these and ‘upskilling’ the UK workforce Lewis Cone
Senior B2B Analyst


What's included

What's included

Table of contents

Table of contents

  1. Overview

      • What you need to know
        • Economic overview
          • Business health
            • Special focus: B2B finance
              • What’s next?
              • Economic Overview

                • Annual GDP growth falls to decade low in 2019
                    • Figure 1: Annual GDP growth rate, 2015-2019, (% change)
                  • Bank rate remains at 0.75%... for now
                      • Figure 2: Bank Rate, 2008-2018, by date of adjustment
                    • CPI rate falls to three-year low…
                        • Figure 3: Consumer Price Index, January 2019 - 2020, (12-month Rate)
                      • …whilst earnings growth continues to outstrip inflation
                          • Figure 4: Real average weekly earnings, total pay, January-November 2019, (% monthly change year-on-year, seasonally adjusted)
                      • Business Health

                        • A fifth of small businesses have missed out on opportunities due to a lack of funding
                          • Figure 5: Current finance situation of the business, June 2017 vs June 2018 vs June 2019, (% of respondents)
                        • Business turnover continues to grow in 2019…
                          • Figure 6: UK business turnover, 2019, at the start of the year, by business sector, (£ million)
                        • … Despite insolvencies rising to a six-year high
                            • Figure 7: Underlying company insolvencies in England and Wales, Q3 2017 - Q4 2019, (units, seasonally adjusted)
                          • Business investment levels and private sector profitability both decline
                            • Figure 8: UK PNFCs net rate of return, Q3 2017 - Q3 2019, (% return)
                            • Figure 9: UK total business investment, Q3 2017 - Q3 2019, (chained volume measures and not seasonally-adjusted, £ billion)
                        • Special Focus: B2B Finance

                          • Net lending levels further improve in 2019…
                              • Figure 10: UK MFIs’ net loans to non-financial businesses, Q1 2018 - Q4 2019, by size of business, (£ million, not seasonally adjusted)
                            • … Although credit availability continues to fall
                              • Figure 11: Availability of corporate credit to PNFCs in the past three months, Q4 2017 - Q4 2019, by business size, (net percentage balance)
                            • Write-offs on loans to NFCs rise for first time in four years in 2018 but likely to have fallen in 2019
                              • Figure 12: Write offs of loans to PNFCs from banks and building societies, Q3 2017 - Q3 2019, (£ million, not seasonally adjusted)
                          • What’s Next?

                            • Business confidence bounces back from decade-low point
                              • Figure 13: Business confidence index, Q4 2018 - Q1 2020, (index figure)
                            • General consensus implies weaker economic growth in 2020 and beyond
                              • Purchasing Managers’ Index Surveys
                                • Stagnating productivity represents the greatest hurdle to overcome
                                • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                    • Abbreviations

                                    About the report

                                    This report will give you a complete 360-degree view of your market. Not only is it rooted in robust proprietary and high-quality third-party data, but our industry experts put that data into context and you’ll quickly understand:

                                    • The Consumer

                                      What They Want. Why They Want It.

                                    • The Competitors

                                      Who’s Winning. How To Stay Ahead.

                                    • The Market

                                      Size, Segments, Shares And Forecasts: How It All Adds Up.

                                    • The Innovations

                                      New Ideas. New Products. New Potential.

                                    • The Opportunities

                                      Where The White Space Is. How To Make It Yours.

                                    • The Trends

                                      What’s Shaping Demand – Today And Tomorrow.

                                    Please Note: This is a sample report. All of the figures, graphs, and tables have been redacted.