The CBI's quarterly gauge of manufacturing optimism in the UK rose to +23 in the first quarter of 2020, its highest level since the second quarter of 2014. Export sentiment and investment intentions also improved, with a record proportion of firms expecting to authorise capital expenditure in order to expand capacity. Still, manufacturers were concerned that a shortage of labour could constrain investment spending over the year ahead. Output volumes continued to contract largely due to a sharp decline in motor vehicles production, and both total new orders and headcounts fell at the quickest rates since the financial crisis amid sluggish domestic demand. However, output and orders are expected to recover slightly in the quarter ahead, while employment is seen declining at slower pace.

Business Confidence in the United Kingdom averaged -3.73 points from 1958 until 2020, reaching an all time high of 55 points in the third quarter of 1959 and a record low of -75 points in the first quarter of 1974. This page provides - United Kingdom Business Confidence - actual values, historical data, forecast, chart, statistics, economic calendar and news. source: Confederation of British Industry

Business Confidence in the United Kingdom is expected to be 23.00 points by the end of this quarter, according to Trading Economics global macro models and analysts expectations. Looking forward, we estimate Business Confidence in the United Kingdom to stand at -14.00 in 12 months time. In the long-term, the United Kingdom Business Confidence is projected to trend around -2.00 points in 2021, according to our econometric models.


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United Kingdom Business Confidence

Actual Previous Highest Lowest Dates Unit Frequency
23.00 -44.00 55.00 -75.00 1958 - 2020 points Quarterly


Calendar GMT Actual Previous Consensus TEForecast
2019-04-26 10:00 AM Q2 -13 -23 -12
2019-07-23 10:00 AM Q3 -32 -13 -14
2019-10-22 10:00 AM Q4 -44 -32 -38
2020-01-22 11:00 AM Q1 23 -44 -28
2020-04-27 10:00 AM Q2 23 12
2020-07-23 10:00 AM Q3 -8
2020-10-22 10:00 AM Q4 -14


News Stream
UK Business Optimism Hits 6-Year High
The CBI's quarterly gauge of manufacturing optimism in the UK rose to +23 in the first quarter of 2020, its highest level since the second quarter of 2014. Export sentiment and investment intentions also improved, with a record proportion of firms expecting to authorise capital expenditure in order to expand capacity. Still, manufacturers were concerned that a shortage of labour could constrain investment spending over the year ahead. Output volumes continued to contract largely due to a sharp decline in motor vehicles production, and both total new orders and headcounts fell at the quickest rates since the financial crisis amid sluggish domestic demand. However, output and orders are expected to recover slightly in the quarter ahead, while employment is seen declining at slower pace.
2020-01-22
UK Business Optimism Falls to Over 3-Year Low: CBI
The CBI Business Optimism Indicator for the UK dropped to -44 in the last quarter of 2019 from -32 in the previous three-month period. It was the lowest reading since the third quarter of 2019, amid Brexit uncertainty. Also, optimism about export prospects for the year ahead worsened to the greatest extent since October 2001 and investment intentions deteriorated, with plans to spend on buildings, plant & machinery and training & retraining at their most negative since the financial crisis. New orders declined at the same pace as the previous quarter, still firms expect them to fall at a steeper rate in the three months to January. Quarterly headcount was down, dropping at its fastest since April 2010, with firms anticipating an even sharper fall the following quarter.
2019-10-22
UK Business Optimism Slumps to 3-Year Low
The CBI Business Optimism Indicator for the UK plunged 19 points to -32 in the third quarter of 2019, the lowest reading since the third quarter of 2016, due to ongoing Brexit uncertainty. Also, investment spending plans weakened again while optimism about export prospects for the year ahead worsened. Domestic and export orders declined at their fastest pace since the financial crisis and overall order books were below “normal” to the greatest extent since 2010. Manufacturers continued to grow their stocks of raw materials and finished goods, but at a slower pace than in the three months to April, when stocks were increased at the fastest pace on record. Still, output volumes in the next three months are expected to recover slightly.
2019-07-23
UK Business Optimism Improves in Q2: CBI
The CBI Business Optimism Indicator for the UK increased to -13 in the second quarter of 2019 from -23 in the previous three-month period. It was the highest reading since the third quarter of 2018, mainly due to the Brexit delay. Sentiment regarding export prospects for the year ahead fell, but to a lesser extent than in the previous quarter. However, the proportion of firms citing political/economic conditions abroad as a factor likely to limit export orders in the next three months was at its highest since January 1983. The three months to April saw an unprecedented acceleration in the growth of stocks held by the manufacturing sector. Stocks of raw materials, work in progress, and finished goods all grew at their fastest (respective) paces on record. Looking ahead, though, manufacturers expect stocks to fall across the board in the next quarter.
2019-04-26

United Kingdom Business Confidence
In the United Kingdom, the Business Optimism Index is published by the Confederation of British Industry's in its Industrial Trends Survey. An average of 400 small, medium and large companies from the manufacturing sector is surveyed each quarter. The Questionnaire accesses the overall sentiment regarding general and export business situation, investment, capacity, order books, employment, output, stocks, prices competitiveness regarding domestic, EU and non-EU markets and innovation and training. For each assessment is computed a sub-index as the percentage of positive answers minus the percentage of negative answers. The composite index is then computed as the weighted average of the sub-indices. An Optimism Index of +100 indicates that all survey respondents are much more confident about future prospects, while -100 suggests that all survey respondents are much less confident about future prospects. An index level of 0 indicates neutrality.