Monthly Decision Maker Panel data - January 2023

The Decision Maker Panel (DMP) is a survey of Chief Financial Officers from small, medium and large UK businesses. We use it to monitor developments in the economy and to track businesses’ views.
Published on 02 February 2023

The January DMP survey was conducted between 6 and 20 January and received 2,520 responses.

Businesses’ expectations for their own-price inflation were broadly unchanged in January. Over the next year, businesses expected their output prices to increase by an average 5.8%, unchanged from the previous month, although the three-month average fell slightly from 5.9% to 5.8%. Note that the DMP covers own prices from firms across the whole economy, not just consumer-facing firms.

Expectations for CPI inflation fell. DMP members expected CPI inflation to be 6.4% one-year ahead in January, down from 7.4% in the December survey. Three-year ahead CPI inflation expectations also decreased by 0.3 percentage point to 3.7%.

In January, businesses expected unit costs to grow at 8.0% over the coming year, down from 8.1% in December. Realised unit cost growth was estimated to have fallen from 10.1% to 9.9%.

Expected year-ahead wage growth also fell by 0.6 percentage points to 5.7% in January. Realised annual wage growth was 6.3% in January, a decrease of 0.3 percentage points on the month.

Recruitment difficulties continued to ease in January, with 35% of firms currently finding recruitment ‘much harder’ than usual, the lowest proportion since the question was introduced in October 2021 after peaking at 66% in June 2022. Expectations for year-ahead employment growth also edged down by 0.7 percentage points to 1.2% in January, and were weaker than realised employment growth, which was 3.4% in the year to January.

Overall business uncertainty remained unchanged in January, with 57% of firms reporting that uncertainty for their business was ‘high’ or ‘very high’. Uncertainty around the outlook for businesses’ expectations for their own-price growth remains historically high.

The DMP was set up in August 2016 by the Bank of England together with academics from Stanford University and the University of Nottingham. It was designed to be representative of the population of UK businesses. All results are weighted. See Bloom et al (2017) for more details.

The DMP receives funding from the Economic and Social Research Council.