Global business elite ready to pour cash into UK, defying recession warnings
The world’s business elite are set to pump billions of pounds into the UK economy, defying experts forecasting the country is on course for its toughest recession in a century, a new report out today reveals.
The proportion of more than 4,400 global chief executives in 105 countries surveyed by consultancy PwC identifying the UK as one of their top investment locations has doubled over the last three years.
Now, nearly one in four business leaders want to grow their companies in Britain more than anywhere else, up from just nine per cent in 2020.
Just China and the US beat the UK in the global growth priority table. Germany is level with the UK.
The research underscores the UK remains an attractive place to do business despite experts warning it is headed for the deepest and longest recession among rich nations.
A sudden investment boom could actually mean the country avoids a recession or emerges from any slump pretty quickly.
“CEOs don’t expand and invest on a whim – they’re choosing the UK as that’s where they expect to see returns,” Kevin Ellis, chairman and senior partner at PwC UK, said.
Others pointed out the survey shows the UK is beating away headwinds caused by the pandemic and ongoing Brexit trade disruption, with London leading the charge.
“Despite the huge challenges of Brexit and the pandemic, it’s great to see that the UK is succeeding and London is retaining its status as a global city,” Claire Harding, research director at the Centre for London, told City A.M.
“UK business leaders investment plans were stronger in December than they have been at any time in the last six months, and it is good to see that this is reinforced by growing confidence in the UK at a global level,” Kitty Ussher, chief economist at the Institute of Directors, told City A.M.
Recent data has indicated the underlying strength of the economy may be better than feared, strengthening the UK’s investment case. A weak pound has also made injecting money in the country cheaper.
Figures out from the Office for National Statistics last week revealed output shockingly grew 0.1 per cent in November, beating a consensus forecast of a 0.2 per cent contraction.
PwC’s survey also found over one in five UK business chiefs think their company could collapse in the coming years due to rapid technological pushing them out of the market.
Over a quarter reckon climate change will knock their bottom line in the next year, the survey said.