United Kingdom

HSBC Navigator provides comprehensive insight into the now, next and how for business, representing the views of over 9,100 business decision-makers across 35 markets. This report gives an understanding of how businesses like yours can continue to grow now and in the future.

Optimism despite Brexit uncertainty

British firms are taking an uncertain economic environment and running with it, foreseeing strong growth and significant changes to their business. Amid Brexit uncertainty, the UK’s growth outlook according to businesses surveyed has strengthened. But this growth won’t come from the status quo. Many more UK firms are expecting their business to change totally or substantially in the next five years – 66% compared to a global average of 50% and a continental view of 41%.

State of play

Turbo-charged growth puts UK in pole position 

Nearly eight in 10 UK companies project growth in the next year, just under the global average (77% versus 79%), and alongside that positive outlook there is an increasing focus on sustainability and the wellbeing of their workforce. Of those that are feeling confident, almost a third of high-growth firms believe that growth will be 15% or more compared to 22% of global businesses and the highest proportion across European markets.

British businesses believe they can grow by investing in technology, introducing new products and services and motivating their workforce. They are also looking at new markets opening up, transformative technologies in their sector and the increased interest in sustainability.

77 %

Nearly eight in 10 UK companies project growth in the next year

Expectations for future business growth

Expect sales to grow – Next year*
Grow by 15% or more – Next year
Grow by 6-14% – Next year
Grow by 5% or less – Next year
Stay the same – Next year
Expect sales to shrink – Next year

Next five years
Expect sales to grow* 80%
Grow by 15% or more 32%
Grow by 6-14% 31%
Grow by 5% or less 17%
Stay the same 8%
Expect sales to shrink 11%

*This is the sum of grow by 5% or less, 6-14%, 15% or more.

What you need to know

  1. 1

    77% of UK businesses predict growth in the coming year despite Brexit uncertainty.

  2. 2

    British companies are the most bullish in Europe – 32% expect growth of 15% or more in the next five years.

  3. 3

    Risks include Brexit-associated currency volatility and changes to government policies on labour and immigration.

What your business can do

  • Assess whether your business model requires transformation to meet the challenges of global competition.

  • Take steps to ensure that your supply chain is not vulnerable to disruption and choose sustainable suppliers.

  • Address skills shortages in your workforce. 30% of threatened firms are concerned about limited availability of skills.