How does your 2017 outlook stack up against your peers? 2017 Future Forecast results

28 December 2016 -


Twitchy about Trump. Fearful about the UK economy. Positive about their own organisations’ prospects. UK managers look ahead to 2017

Matthew Rock

The majority of UK managers are pessimistic about the UK’s economic prospects for 2017, yet remain resolutely positive about their own business, according to the annual Future Forecast from CMI.   

The key findings

  • Almost two-thirds (65%) of the 1,180 UK managers surveyed for this year’s forecast feel negative about the UK’s economic outlook for the next 12 to 18 months.
  • Half (49%) think Brexit will have a negative impact on economic growth in the next three to five years.
  • Looking back over 2016 and the immediate impact of the referendum, only two in five (39%) organisations described themselves as experiencing growth – the lowest figure since 2012.
  • 35% of managers lack confidence in current UK leadership and management’s ability to capitalise on post-Brexit opportunities.

Despite the negative sentiment around the economy, managers see opportunity when in their businesses. More than half (57%) remain positive about their organisation’s own prospects, while just a quarter (25%) feel pessimistic – a figure that’s remained steady since last year. Managers became 6% more confident (54%) in senior executives’ ability to lead their own organisation, too.

Ann Francke, CEO at the Chartered Management Institute, said: “Although it’s clear that there are significant challenges posed by the UK’s decision to Brexit, as a country we need to move forward and harness pragmatic positivity. UK business will play a vital role in making this a success.”


The solutions

Managers overwhelmingly believe that investing in skills is essential to address our post-referendum prospects:

  • Three-quarters (74%) agree that post-Brexit, investing in skills is even more important.
  • One in five (20%) say that they did not receive the training and development they needed to perform their job effectively in 2016.
  • Only 18% oppose the Apprenticeship Levy that will take effect from April 2017; 47% are fully supportive; and the remaining 35% still requiring further guidance or information to understand how the Levy will affect their business. This suggests there is wide support for building skills for the next generation of home-grown leaders and managers through the apprenticeship programme.

Ann Francke: “In 2017 we have an opportunity to stand together and tackle longstanding issues like the productivity gap, currently 21% lower than other G7 countries.

“We’ll do this by investing in apprenticeships and management skills to create home-grown talent that can become future world-leading management and leadership for UK plc. In this climate of heightened political uncertainty and economic turbulence, the time is now to position Britain as a global leader in responsible capitalism, targeting essential issues like workplace ethics, inclusivity and executive pay to restore trust and transparency and improve productivity. There are uncertain times ahead, but I agree with many of those surveyed that there are opportunities for forward-thinking UK businesses.”


The global outlook

Managers are uncertain on the likely impact of the Trump presidency on the UK’s economic prospects:

  • Two in five (40%) think Donald Trump’s election win will have an overtly negative impact on the UK economy.
  • 31% think that Trump victory will have a positive impact.
  • 29% said they weren’t sure or that it would have no impact at all.

Download CMI Future Forecast at or get involved on Twitter @cmi_managers #FutureForecast

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