In October 2023, 67% of trading businesses with 10 or more employees reported that they were able to get the materials, goods or services they needed from within the UK; while more than 1 in 8 (13%) were either unable to get the materials, goods or services they needed from within the UK, or had to change suppliers or find alternative solutions to do so.
In October 2023, 5% of businesses with 10 or more employees experienced global supply chain disruption, broadly stable with September 2023 and the lowest proportion reported since the question was introduced in late December 2021.
In late November 2023, 18% of businesses reported that they were using, or intending to use, increased homeworking as a permanent business model, with improved staff well-being reported as the main reason for doing so, at 56%.
Less than 1 in 10 (9%) businesses experienced worker shortages in late November 2023, with 44% of those businesses reporting they were unable to meet demands as a result.
Less than 1 in 10 (7%) businesses reported that their employees' hourly wages had increased in October 2023 compared with September 2023 (9%).
Approximately 4% of businesses were affected by industrial action in October 2023, the lowest proportion reported since this question was introduced in June 2022; of those businesses affected, more than a quarter (28%) reported their workforce had to change their working location.
The data presented in this bulletin are the final results from Wave 96 of the Business Insights and Conditions Survey (BICS), which was live from 13 November to 26 November 2023.
The data reported within BICS bulletins and datasets are estimates that are subject to uncertainty, for example, sampling variability and non-sampling error. Further information on quality is available in our Business Insights and Conditions Survey Quality and Methodology Information (QMI), and we regularly update confidence intervals associated with the survey questions.
Experimental single-site weighted regional estimates up to Wave 92 are available in our Business insights and impact on the UK subnational single-site economy: November 2023 article.
More about economy, business and jobs
Figure 1: Headline figures from the Business Insights and Conditions Survey
- For presentational purposes, some response options have been combined, excluded or both.
- Data are plotted in the middle of each wave.
The percentage of businesses that reported they were trading in late November 2023 was 96%, with 87% fully trading and 9% partially trading (for example, trading with reduced hours or staff numbers). Meanwhile, 2% of businesses reported "temporarily paused trading" and 2% reported "permanently ceased trading" as their business's trading status.Back to table of contents
Business insights and impact on the UK economy
Dataset | Released 1 December 2023
Weighted estimates from the voluntary fortnightly Business Insights and Conditions Survey (BICS) about financial performance, workforce, prices, trade and business resilience. This dataset includes additional information collected as part of the survey not presented in this publication.
Business insights and impact on the UK economy confidence intervals
Dataset | Released 1 December 2023
Confidence intervals for weighted estimates from the voluntary fortnightly Business Insights and Conditions Survey (BICS) about financial performance, workforce, prices, trade and business resilience. These data are not official statistics but have been developed to deliver timely indicators to help understand the issues impacting UK businesses and the economy.
Access to microdata
You can access the microdata for Waves 1 to 95 of the Business Insights and Conditions Survey (BICS) through the Secure Research Service (SRS). The BICS microdata for each wave are released on a rolling basis in the week following the publication of each wave. The microdata are made confidential and do not disclose information on any specific business.
Only researchers accredited under the Digital Economy Act, as explained on the UK Statistics Authority website are able to access data in the SRS. You can apply for accreditation through the Research Accreditation Service (RAS). You need to have relevant academic or work experience and must successfully attend and complete the assessed Safe Researcher Training.
To conduct analysis with microdata from the SRS, a project application must be submitted to the Research Accreditation Panel (RAP), as explained on the UK Statistics Authority website. To access the SRS, you must also work for an organisation with an Assured Organisational Connectivity agreement in place.Back to table of contents
The reporting unit is the business unit to which questionnaires are sent. The response from the reporting unit can cover the enterprise as a whole, or parts of the enterprise identified by lists of local units.Back to table of contents
More quality and methodology information (QMI) on strengths, limitations, appropriate uses, and how the data were created is available in our Business Insights and Conditions Survey (BICS) QMI, which was updated on 24 January 2022.
The BICS is voluntary, and the results are experimental. More information is available in our Guide to experimental statistics.
|Wave||2 November 2023 Publication Wave 94||16 November 2023 Publication Wave 95||1 December 2023 Publication Wave 96|
Download this table Table 1: Sample and response rates for Wave 94, 95 and 96 of the Business Insights and Conditions Survey.xls .csv
The results are based on responses from the voluntary fortnightly BICS, which captures businesses' views on financial performance, workforce, prices, trade and business resilience. The Wave 96 survey was live for the period 13 November to 26 November 2023. For full details of the survey questions used, see our Business Insights and Conditions Survey questions: 13 November to 26 November 2023 article.
The BICS sampling frame is based on the same industries as our Monthly Business Survey (MBS). The MBS covers the UK for production industries only, and Great Britain for construction, retail and services industries. The MBS is an important input to the output measure of gross domestic product (GDP), which includes monthly GDP.
For detailed information on the industries covered by the MBS and BICS, see our GDP(o) data sources catalogue dataset. The following are some industries that are excluded from MBS and BICS:
oil and gas extraction
energy generation and supply
public administration and defence
public provision of education and health
finance and insurance
More quality and methodology information (QMI) on strengths, limitations, appropriate uses, and how the data were created is available in our Business Insights and Conditions Survey (BICS) QMI.Back to table of contents
Office for National Statistics (ONS), released 1 December 2023, ONS website, statistical bulletin, Business insights and impact on the UK economy: 1 December 2023
Contact details for this Statistical bulletin
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