Our Quarterly Tracker records businesses’ views about their key business drivers, prices and costs.
While the Summer 2018 Trade Barometer recorded spikes in many of the factors monitored in the Quarterly Tracker, including both drivers and costs, in most cases these have now fallen back to levels seen in previous editions.
In particular, inflationary pressures appear to have eased, with a reduction in the number of businesses citing increasing export prices, shipping costs and supplier prices over the past quarter. As a result, the number of businesses reporting increases in their own prices has fallen.
Read more on the Quarterly Tracker in the full report
Sources of negative impact
Businesses are now most likely to worry that Brexit will have a negative impact on their activity in the next 12 months, with 43% fearing they could be adversely affected as a result.
A similar proportion (42%) are concerned about the potential impact of an economic slowdown in the UK and 38% worry fluctuations in the value of the pound will negatively affect their business.
Read more about sources of negative impact in the full report
Changes made as a consequence of Brexit
The autumn 2018 Trade Barometer shows that the number of businesses making plans for Brexit continues to inch up but still remain relatively low.
Almost two-thirds (65%) of businesses now say they have made plans for Brexit, up from 51% three months ago and from 44% at the end of last year.
However, 35% of businesses still report they have not made plans for Brexit. Given the uncertain outcome of the Brexit negotiations, some businesses may have decided a wait and-see approach is the right way to proceed, even if time is now increasingly tight given that the UK is due to leave the EU in March 2019.
Read more about Brexit planning in the full report
Brexit concerns for trade and supply chains
The potential impact of Brexit worries both SMEs and larger businesses but the former are less concerned.
Some 24% of SMEs are worried about lower trade with the EU following Brexit against 31% of larger businesses. Among smaller companies, the issue of tariffs on EU sales (29%) is the most commonly cited concern.
Elsewhere, the costs that could potentially be associated with customs procedures post-Brexit are a concern for 29% of SMEs, closely followed by administrative costs (27%) and the cost of complying with other regulations (26%).
Read more about international trade plans and concerns in the full report