North West businesses ‘expect success’ in 2023

In an upbeat assessment for 2023 prospects North West businesses expect to be more successful in the next 12 months despite strong economic headwinds. Tony McDonough reports

Manufacturing, manufacturer, welder, welding, factory, production, industry
Manufacturing, manufacturer, welder, welding, factory, production, industry


Businesses across the North West remain optimistic for the prospects in 2023 despite the grim economic environment.

Soaring inflation and energy prices have put the UK in a precarious position going into the New Year. Organisations such as the CBI and the British Chambers of Commerce are forecasting contraction over the next 12 months.

However, the latest survey from Lloyds Bank reveals 71% of businesses in the North West say they are confident they would have greater success in the coming 12 months, compared to the past year.

Just 17% were not confident about being more successful in 2023 and 7% expected their business to perform at the same level in the next year. Research was carried out between December 1 and December 14 as part of additional polling for the monthly Lloyds Bank Business Barometer.

Firms in the North West projected a more upbeat outlook for 2023 with 66% expecting a higher turnover than in 2022. More than a third  of businesses expect turnover to increase by between 5% and 19%. A fifth anticipate turnover will increase by more than 20%.

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When businesses were asked what they would do to fuel growth, 90% said they were planning an investment drive. Businesses reported that funding would be used to invest in staff training (43%), grow their business (39%), and expand into new markets or overseas (33%). 

Alongside investment, North West businesses plan on making several New Year’s resolutions. These include keeping a firmer eye on costs (44%), improving productivity (40%), and upskilling existing staff (36%).


Martyn Kendrick
Martyn Kendrick, Lloyds Bank regional director for SME Banking in the North West


The data showed 7% are set to invest in paying bonuses and short-term incentives. A quarter are intending to target growth from their existing customer base.

Martyn Kendrick, regional director for the North West, Lloyds Bank Business & Commercial Banking, said: “After what has been a challenging year for many, it’s promising to see businesses across the region anticipating more successful trading in 2023.

“Through long-term thinking, firms are planning to invest in their people to grow their business, and taking the steps now for a positive future. While obstacles will of course remain, with the right support I’m confident North West businesses can navigate the year ahead and maximise new growth opportunities.”

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