Business Insights and Impact on the UK Economy: 1 December 2023

1. Main Points:

  • In October 2023, 67% of trading businesses with 10 or more employees sourced materials, goods, or services from within the UK. However, 13% faced challenges such as inability to acquire what they needed or had to change suppliers.
  • Global supply chain disruption affected 5% of businesses with 10 or more employees in October 2023, remaining stable compared to September 2023 and marking the lowest proportion since late December 2021.
  • As of late November 2023, 18% of businesses considered or were implementing increased homeworking as a permanent business model, with 56% citing improved staff well-being as the primary reason.
  • Worker shortages were experienced by less than 10% of businesses in late November 2023, with 44% of those unable to meet demands.
  • Only 7% of businesses reported an increase in employees’ hourly wages in October 2023 compared to September 2023.
  • Approximately 4% of businesses were impacted by industrial action in October 2023, the lowest proportion since June 2022.

2. Headline Figures:

  • The data are from Wave 96 of the Business Insights and Conditions Survey (BICS), conducted from 13 November to 26 November 2023.
  • In late November 2023, 96% of businesses were trading, with 87% fully trading, 9% partially trading, 2% temporarily paused trading, and 2% permanently ceased trading.

3. Business Insights and Conditions Survey Data:

  • The dataset provides weighted estimates from the voluntary fortnightly BICS, covering financial performance, workforce, prices, trade, and business resilience. It includes additional survey information.
  • Confidence intervals for the estimates are available to account for uncertainty.