The insurer’s latest report found ‘a veritable collapse’ in business outlooks

The net business confidence rating in the UK economy collapsed from an already low figure of just 5% in 2021 to -50% in 2022.

This is according to the findings of Aviva’s third annual Risk Insights Report, released today (20 January 2022).

In the report, the insurer said that a “host of interconnected economic risks” had underpinned “a “veritable collapse” in optimism over the economy.

Aviva surveyed senior leaders from 1,200 small, mid-sized and large businesses across the UK between August and October 2022.

It found that only 12% of businesses had confidence in the UK economy, compared to 63% that said they did not.

The proportion of struggling businesses was made up mostly of small businesses – 30% of these firms reported that they were struggling, while only 12% of large companies said they were.

However, Aviva’s research also found that businesses were more confident about their own prospects, as opposed to the economy as a whole.

Respondents’ confidence levels for their own business sector were higher than for the over all economy, although remained on the lower end at 20%.

Across the board

Marc Lewis, Aviva’s chief underwriting officer for commercial lines, said: “Confidence in the UK economy has fallen across the board this year, with businesses’ net confidence rating slumping to -50%.

“The prominence of economic and related concerns among UK business leaders’ key risks reflects the challenges that ongoing economic uncertainty presents to day-to-day operations.

“UK companies are having to strike a balance between finding their footing in the current economic crisis – be that a path to survival or finding a way to grow – and continuing to protect their existing business and assets.

“Companies of all sizes will facer tough decisions in the coming months and I would urge all businesses to work with their insurance brokers to understand the risks they face and how insurance and risk management can best protect them through the challenges ahead.”