Welcome to the UK’s Middle Market Business Index

The UK’s middle market – what we call the real economy – has often been overlooked by policy makers, despite making up a third of the UK’s economy. A lack of data has made it difficult to tell the real economy’s story and to highlight its challenges and opportunities.

So we’ve used our proprietary data to create the Middle Market Business Index (MMBI). In partnership with The Harris Poll and Moody’s Analytics, we’ve surveyed approximately 700 middle market business leaders to develop a unique tool that will amplify the outlook of the real economy.

Not only that, but our rigorously tested data will become a leading indicator of whether the UK’s economy as a whole is tending toward growth or contraction.

Every quarter, we’ll be bringing you the premium insights you need to help your business to develop and grow.

 

Middle market concerns about the general economic outlook in Q1 are unlikely to improve much in Q2, and the health of the broader economy will remain a key risk for middle market firms over the next year. Indeed, 2022 is likely to be another extremely challenging year for the middle market.

Tom Pugh, RSM UK economist

Key takeaways

Q1 /2022

Pressure from price surges and labour shortages are starting to ease

Increasing capital expenditure is a top priority – a net 54% of respondents expect to increase theirs over the next six months

Despite lower expectations for revenues and profits in 2022, optimism across the middle market remains fairly high

The war in Ukraine broke out after the end of the MMBI’s Q1 sampling period, but middle market businesses were already becoming increasingly concerned about the general economic outlook. Omicron had dampened optimism in the first three months of the year, leading to the MMBI’s first fall – from 139.6 in the last quarter of 2021, to 134.9 in the first quarter of 2022.

 

Sanctions against Russia will further disrupt global supply chains, so it’s likely that middle market sentiment during the second quarter of 2022 will remain subdued.

 

MMBI Q1 2022

RSM UK Middle Market Business Index

RSM UK Middle Market Business Index graph
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 Q1 2022

RSM UK Middle Market Business Index

RSM UK Middle Market Business Index graph

Introducing the MMBI

RSM UK is bringing the story of the middle market to life with the MMBI. Find out more about what the MMBI is and what it will do for the UK’s real economy in this short video.

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Continue discovering what makes up the MMBI

Q1 2022 MMBI Report

The report

We don’t need to look too hard to find events that have had a long-term influence on the economy. The global financial crash of 2008, the coronavirus pandemic and now the devastating events in Ukraine have all had an ongoing impact. On top of that, the UK has its own significant domestic challenges to contend with. This first MMBI report comes at a crucial moment for the UK’s middle market. Its business leaders are ready to move forward from the pandemic, but they must navigate around inflation challenges and supply chain issues to do so.

 

The Q1 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.

Keep up to date on the MMBI 

RSM’s unique MMBI brings you the economic insights you need to develop and grow your business. Stay on the pulse of the UK’s real economy and subscribe to our quarterly reports.

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