Monthly Decision Maker Panel data - October 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 November 2023

The October DMP survey was conducted between 6 and 20 October and received 2,354 responses.

Firms reported that their output prices rose by an average annual rate of 7.1% in the three months to October; the rate fell 0.3 percentage points from September. The single month data for October fell to 6.8%, 0.1 percentage points lower than in September. Note that the DMP covers own prices from firms across the whole economy, not just consumer-facing firms.

Looking ahead, businesses expect their output price inflation to decline over the next year. Year-ahead own-price inflation was expected to be 4.5% in the three months to October, down from 4.8% in the three months to September. Expected output price inflation has been gradually falling over the year.

One-year ahead CPI inflation expectations decreased slightly to 4.6% in October, down from 4.9% in September. The three-month moving average fell by 0.2 percentage points to 4.8% in the three months to October. Three-year ahead CPI inflation expectations decreased 0.1 percentage point to 3.1% in October. Current perceived CPI inflation was 6.9% in October (down from 7.1% in September). The latest ONS release on 18 October (towards the end of the DMP survey window) showed that annual CPI inflation remained at 6.7%.

Expected year-ahead wage growth remained unchanged at 5.1% on a three-month moving average basis, though the single month reading for October at 5.1% was 0.1 percentage points lower than in September. Expected year-ahead wage growth was lower than realised wage growth, which stood at 6.8% in the single month data and 6.9% for the three months to October.

Uncertainty was little changed in October. Of those surveyed, 50% of firms reported that the overall level of uncertainty facing their business was high or very high, marginally lower than 51% in September. Sales uncertainty and price uncertainty both fell slightly on a three-month moving average basis.

The October DMP survey also included questions on borrowing costs. Firms reported that the average interest rate that they were paying on their borrowing (both bank and market based) was 6.7%, 0.1 percentage points higher than reported in September. Over the next year firms expect the average interest rate on their borrowing to decline modestly to 6.2%, which remains higher than the interest rate of 3.4% that firms had previously reported paying at the end of 2021.

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.