The middle market resilient in the face of almost certain recession

In the face of an abundance of negative economic conditions, the MMBI has ticked up – from 109.2 in Q3 to 115.7 in Q4. However, this is no indication that the outlook is more positive, rather relief that the potential apocalyptic rise in energy prices has not transpired.

The UK economy is now almost certainly in recession, and where businesses choose to invest now will be key to survival.


Middle market businesses are facing an exceptionally tough year. The one-two punch of soaring inflation and rapidly rising interest rates has already tipped the economy into a recession that will last until late 2023. However, this recession won’t be as severe as the Global Financial Crisis, and we should see a return to growth in 2024.

Key takeaways

Q4 /2022

Uptick does not reflect hope that the recession is ending, rather relief at avoiding apocalyptic rise in energy prices.

Surging costs most pressing concern. However, inflation has probably peaked, with signs that businesses are able to pass on more costs.

Labour shortages make investing in productivity enhancing technology essential, even with the rising interest rates.

MMBI Q4 2022

RSM UK Middle Market Business Index

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 Q4 2022

RSM UK Middle Market Business Index

Continue discovering what makes up the MMBI

Q4 2022 MMBI Report

The report

The Q4 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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