United Kingdom

Our Navigator research provides you with valuable insights and opinions from businesses around the world. As part of that research, we asked more than 10,000 business decision-makers across 39 markets, countries and territories to tell us how the current crisis has affected them and changed their plans for the near to mid-term future.

After a long lockdown and a crippling economic contraction in Q2, the UK had a good summer. Retail sales and jobs were up, while stamp duty cuts boosted the housing market. COVID-19 infection rates were climbing again as our 2020 Navigator survey launched. Since then, the government has extended measures to help jobs and businesses, and the news of a vaccine has caused an uptick in positivity during a second national lockdown. However, low business confidence, rising unemployment and a partial or no-trade deal Brexit could threaten recovery in 2021.


The results of our 2020 Navigator survey point to uncertain times ahead

Business optimism has declined sharply in the UK and expectations of future revenue growth in the next year are lower than in 2019. However, more than half of UK businesses are adapting to the new environment, with around a quarter surviving day-to-day – slightly more than globally or across Europe.

More UK businesses also identify COVID-19 as the single biggest driver of growth and recovery (38% compared with 32% globally). And despite the challenging environment, six out of ten UK businesses (62%) intend to increase investment in their business in 2021.

The outcome of Brexit trade negotiations remains to be seen. For the moment, trade with Europe remains dominant, while the US remains the top trading partner.

Current status of business

  UK Global
Surviving day-to-day 23% 19%
Adapting to a changing environment 57% 58%
Thriving in the new normal 19% 24%