Despite a continued cautious outlook for the UK economy, the overall sentiments in the German-British business community remain positive

31 October 2023


According to the recent Autumn Survey of the German-British Chamber of Industry & Commerce, the outlook for the overall development of the UK economy continues to be very cautious. However, companies remain more optimistic about their own activities, with 40% of respondents planning to increase their investments and a similar number expecting to employ more staff.

Even if the main reason for investing in the UK is the importance of the British market (50% plan to invest in sales and marketing activities), her appeal as a manufacturing location should not be underestimated, as approximately 30% of respondents are planning to invest in production and manufacturing activities.

Unlike in spring, political uncertainty and the lack of demand (because of a relatively weak economy) now feature most prominently as challenges for our businesses. These are followed by trade barriers, shortage of skills and labour costs. In comparison to spring, energy costs have moved down the agenda from third to sixth position.

In terms of the effects on their own business operations, the Windsor Framework and the resulting improvement in the relationship between the EU and the UK is viewed more positively than six months ago. Now 42% (versus 29% in spring) expect this to have a measurable positive impact on their business activities.

With regard to long term geopolitical challenges, inflationary pressures are expected to continue to be an issue. Political “interference” on supply chain structures, as well as general issues around the security of supply of energy and raw materials, have somewhat moved down the agenda.

Dr Ulrich Hoppe, Director General of the German-British Chamber of Industry & Commerce, commented, "The survey results suggest that the German-British business community continues to navigate the current challenges well, but cannot escape overall trends.”

51 online interviews were conducted with members of the German-British business community with UK operations. The study was part of the World Business Outlook and conducted in conjunction with the German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DIHK). Fieldwork was conducted between 6 and 16 October 2023. The full results can be found here.


Kindly supplied by the German-British Chamber of Industry & Commerce


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