New Poll: Business leaders optimistic for 2013

3 January 2013

A new opinion poll of business leaders, carried out by the Institute of Directors (IoD), shows a growing sense of economic optimism for the year ahead. On the fiscal front, support for deficit reduction, and confidence in the Chancellor himself, remains strong.

The poll of 1,369 members of the IoD was carried out between 12 and 20 December 2012. The IoD Policy Voice panel is surveyed quarterly on the economic outlook.

Key Findings

Economic Outlook

  • Business directors start the year with a far more optimistic outlook on the coming year than 12 months ago. The proportion who expect 2013 to be better than the previous year exceeds those with a pessimistic outlook by a margin of +31%. This is a direct reversal from the start of 2012, when the balance of opinion on the new year was a grim -31%.
  • Long-term confidence has also risen, with the balance of those expecting higher UK GDP growth over the coming 10 years compared to the previous decade rising to +22% in the new poll, compared to -9% in Q1 2012, -8% in Q2 and +10% in Q3.

A Triple Dip?

  • The panel's view of the probability of a return to recession has fallen. 16% thought the risk was high, 49% moderate and 34% low. In response to this question at the start of 2012, 35% said the risk was high, 53% moderate and 11% low. Whilst business leaders aren't discounting the risk of a triple-dip, the proportion foreseeing a high risk of recession has fallen from approximately 1 in 3 to 1 in 6.  

Fiscal Policy

  • The Chancellor's approval rating is +11%. This is a long way down from his peak of +54% at the time of the April 2011 Budget, but still higher than the +5% who thought he would do a good job prior to the General Election. Impressively for a mid-term Chancellor in rough seas, he has retained business support overall.
  • Business leaders remain strongly supportive of deficit reduction; 57% say George Osborne should stick with current policy, 22% say deficit reduction should be tougher,19% support an easing off and only 1% would like to see a reversal of the policy.

Commenting on the findings of the poll, Institute of Directors Chief Economist Graeme Leach said:

"2012 was a tough year, but business leaders expect 2013 to be much better. The risk of a return to recession and a triple dip has not gone away, but it is receding fast, and expectations of growth are rising."

"George Osborne's approval ratings have suffered, but he retains business support overall. The deficit reduction programme in particular has overwhelming backing from UK directors - the Government absolutely must not waver from the course."


Contact Points

Edwin Morgan
Media Relations Manager

Institute of Directors, 116 Pall Mall, London SW1Y 5ED
Tel: +44 (0)20 7451 3392
Mob: +44 (0)7814 386 243

Notes to editors

  • The Institute of Directors (IoD) was founded in 1903 and obtained a Royal Charter in 1906. The IoD is a non-party political organisation with approximately 38,000 members in the United Kingdom and overseas. Membership includes directors from right across the business spectrum – from media to manufacturing, e-business to the public and voluntary sectors. Members include CEOs of large corporations as well as entrepreneurial directors of start-up companies.
  • The IoD provides an effective voice to represent the interests of its members to key opinion-formers at the highest levels. These include Government ministers and their shadows, parliamentary committee members, senior civil servants and think-tanks. IoD policies and views are actively promoted to the national, regional and trade media. Follow us on Twitter to get the IoD’s reaction on business and public policy issues.
  • The IoD offers a wide range of business services which include business centre facilities, with ten UK centres (three in London, one each in Reading, Birmingham, Cardiff, Manchester, Nottingham, Norwich, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Belfast) and one in Paris, conferences, networking events, virtual offices, issues-led guides and literature, as well as free access to business information and advisory services. The IoD places great emphasis on director development and has established a certified qualification for directors – Chartered Director – as well as running specific board and director-level training and individual career mentoring programmes.
  • For further information, visit our website:

Follow us

Press Office
Institute of Directors
116 Pall Mall