Businesses are heading into 2023 with a fair bit of uncertainty. But from what the CBI is hearing from members there is still reason to be positive. Many can still see opportunities for growth, even though we’re facing a recession.
The CBI’s own economic forecast for next year confirms that’s where we’re heading. In fact, the economy is likely to have fallen into a recession in Q3 2022, when GDP shrank by 0.2%. Driven by a fall in consumer spending and continued weakness in productivity and business investment, we’re expecting the recession to last until the end of 2023. And that’s led us to downgrade our GDP growth outlook for next year significantly, to -0.4% from 1% in our last forecast.
It's a pretty sombre way to end the year – even if our forecast is more optimistic than the OBR’s and the Bank of England’s.
Looking further ahead, the news isn’t all that much better. We expect the economy to be growing again in 2024, but anaemically. And in two years’ time, UK GDP is likely to still be 8% below its pre-Covid trend and 27% below its pre-financial crisis trend.
We need to do something to change our lot
But these are also the kind of numbers that should make people think twice about hunkering down and waiting for the crises to blow over – as CBI President Brian McBride warned against at the CBI Annual Conference. We all need to do things differently, break with our current trajectory and go for growth.
It’s why the CBI will continue to work with business to push the government for a new economic plan for the UK. To break down the barriers to more ambitious growth. Because we’re hearing from so many members that they have plans to invest, they just need the confidence to turn their intentions into reality.
It makes conversations about where to find growth – and how to pursue it – all the more important too, so that businesses can go into 2023 with a more positive mindset that will help them survive – and maybe even thrive – over the next 12 months.
So if you need a reason to go for growth, despite the current challenges, watch this video – with rallying cries from entrepreneurs Deborah Meaden and Jamie Mitchell, alongside advice from Accenture’s Simon Eaves and BBC’s Tim Davie on the opportunities that are still to be had.