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The economic challenges facing UK business

The economic challenges facing UK business
This report presents the findings of a survey among FTSE 350 companies and others of equivalent size. The research was conducted on behalf of the CBI by Ipsos MORI. The purpose of the survey was to:
  • Understand the views of business leaders on the current economic environment;
  • Establish the impact that developments in the economy since late summer have had on business prospects and strategy;
  • Determine what measures the Government can take in order to improve the outlook for British business.

Key findings

Of the 122 business leaders who took part, seventy per cent said their level of confidence in the economic outlook had fallen since the beginning of August.

Interestingly, only 30% of business leaders believe their company's prospects have deteriorated, with a majority (57%) saying they've stayed the same, and around one-in-ten (11%) saying they've improved.

However, six out-of-ten (59%) are likely to revise their business strategy: 38% are changing workforce plans; 33% are reviewing investment plans; 30% are revising expansion plans; and 28% are altering their financial plans. Nearly two-fifths (39%) are not making changes, but some are planning to 'wait and see' before reaching decisions. 

The survey in figures

Research Design

Potential respondents were drawn from a mix of CBI members and a database of senior executives. CEOs of eligible companies were sent a letter by John Cridland, Director General of the CBI, on 3rd October to request their or a board level colleague's cooperation with the survey.A total of 122 executives were interviewed by telephone, using CATI technology, between 6th October and 4th November 2011.


Following this introduction the main findings are reported, including a selection of verbatim comments made by respondents to free-response questions. The appendices contain a note on statistical reliability and a copy of the questionnaire used, marked up with the top-line data from the survey (including a profile of the sample in terms of size, sector and location).
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Matthew Chatterton
Matthew Chatterton

Research Director



Confederation of British Industry (CBI)

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