Monthly Decision Maker Panel data - September 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 05 October 2023

The September DMP survey was conducted between 8 and 22 September and received 2,234 responses.

Firms reported that their output prices rose by an average annual rate of 7.4% in the three months to September; the rate was unchanged for third consecutive month. The single month data for September fell to 6.9%, 0.6 percentage points lower than in August. 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 4.8% in the three months to September, down from 5.0% in the three months to August. Expected output price inflation has been gradually falling over the year.

One-year ahead CPI inflation expectations increased slightly to 4.9% in September, up from 4.8% in August. However, the three-month moving average fell by 0.3 percentage points to 5% in the three months to September. Three-year ahead CPI inflation expectations remained flat at 3.2% in September, the same value as the August figure. Current perceived CPI inflation was 7.1% in September (down from 7.8% in August). The latest ONS release on 20 September (towards the end of the DMP survey window) showed that annual CPI inflation fell from 6.8% to 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 September at 5.2% was 0.2 percentage points higher than in August. Expected year-ahead wage growth was lower than realised wage growth, which stood at 7.1% in the single month data and 6.9% for the three months to September.

Uncertainty was little changed in September. 51% of firms reported that the overall level of uncertainty facing their business was high or very high, marginally lower than 53% in August. Sales uncertainty and price uncertainty both fell slightly on a three-month moving average basis.

The September 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 6.6%, 0.4 percentage points higher than reported in August. Over the next year firms expect the average interest rate on their borrowing to decline modestly to 6.3%, which remains significantly higher than the interest rate of 3.5% 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.