The recession sends a chill through the middle market

The MMBI has fallen for the third consecutive quarter – from 120.9 in the second quarter of 2022, to 109.2 in the third. The fact that the MMBI remains above 100 suggests that the middle market is still growing (albeit slowly), rather than starting to contract. 

 But the coming recession is already casting a shadow over business sentiment that can’t be ignored.  


Surging inflation makes it almost inevitable that consumer spending will fall as an ever-greater share of households’ resources are diverted towards energy bills. That will lead to a recession at the end of this year and an extended period of weak growth. However, not all recessions are created equal and there is ample room for government spending to reduce the length and depth of the upcoming downturn.

Tom Pugh, RSM UK economist

Key takeaways

Q3 /2022

Recession is biggest concern

Labour market past peak tightness

Worrying drop-off in productive investments

MMBI Q3 2022

RSM UK Middle Market Business Index

MMBI chart
We asked our survey panel 20 questions related to their businesses, covering topics such as turnover, profits, capital expenditures, hiring, employee remuneration, prices paid, prices received and stock. We also asked them about the economy and its outlook, and credit availability and borrowing.
For ten of the questions, respondents are asked to report the change from the previous quarter. For the other ten, they are asked to state the likely direction of these same indicators six months ahead.
This graph charts the general mood of our respondents.
MMBI Q3 2022

RSM UK Middle Market Business Index

MMBI chart

Continue discovering what makes up the MMBI

Q3 2022 MMBI Report

The report

The Q3 2022 MMBI provides a guide – not just to the current state of the middle market, but to what tactics firms in this key part of the wider economy might use to forge ahead.

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