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Brexit causing significant concern for businesses outside of the UK

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The impact of Brexit is causing concern for businesses outside the UK, with a sizeable minority in Germany and Spain downgrading their economic forecasts for 2020 due to the issue.

While UK businesses are far more worried about Brexit (46% downgrading their 2020 forecasts), 30% in Germany and 37% in Spain have done the same, according to new research from B2B International, the specialist business-to-business market research agency.

However, businesses in France are relatively bullish about the impact of Brexit on their economic outlook, with 24% upgrading their outlook on the basis of the UK leaving the EU, and just 22% downgrading.

The findings are based on 2,000 online interviews with business decision makers in SMEs and enterprise businesses in six markets (China, France, Germany, Spain, UK, and USA).

Brexit is also having a negative effect on perceptions towards the UK’s economy in other markets, with other countries having lower levels of optimism about the UK. Just 16% in Germany are optimistic about the economic outlook for the UK, rising to 23% in Spain, and 28% in France. However, business decision makers in China (42%) and USA (40%) are more optimistic about the UK’s fortunes.

The research also looks at attitudes towards Brexit in the Business-to-Business and Business-to-Consumer sectors. In total, 24% of European B2B companies view Brexit as an upgrade to their economic fortunes in 2020, while just 9% of those selling to consumers say the same.

It’s not all doom and gloom when it comes to Brexit. Across all markets, millennial decision makers are significantly more likely than older colleagues to regard the UK leaving the EU as an “upgrade” for their economy. Some 30% of millennials view Brexit as an “upgrade”, compared to 18% of Generation X, and 9% of Baby Boomers.

Newer companies are also far more likely to perceive Brexit as an “upgrade” for their economic outlook, with 46% of those under two years old upgrading. This falls to 38% of those between two and five years, 31% between five and ten years, 20% between 10 and 20-years, and 11% for companies established for more than 20-years.

Conor Wilcock, director at B2B International said, “Our research demonstrates that Brexit is not only an economic concern for businesses in the UK, but also in other major European markets. However, the picture is by no means consistent, with decision makers in France sensing more of an opportunity in the event of the UK leaving the EU, and China and the USA remaining more optimistic about the UK’s economic fortunes.”




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