NEWS1 June 2021

B2B expected to grow in 2021

B2B Financials News Trends UK

UK – Business-to-business (B2B) sector growth in 2021 is anticipated to be 1.4% year-on-year in the UK with 70% of firms positive for their prospects over the next 12 months, according to research from American Express.


The global business spending indicator (GBSI) found that spending was up by an average of 2.7% from the fourth quarter of 2020 to the first quarter of 2021, and predicted a 0.9% growth from the first quarter of 2021 to the second quarter.

Remaining competitive ( 32%), securing new business ( 33%), and increasing profitability ( 32%) were the top three priorities for UK businesses in the next year, according to the GBSI.

The study surveyed more than 3,600 companies across Australia, Canada, Japan, Mexico, the UK and the US, with similar proportions of sole traders and micro, small, medium-sized and large businesses.

Technology spending by business rose 5% on average between the end of 2020 and the start of 2021, with spend on search engine optimisation, social, search and digital costs up by 4% between the first and second quarters of 2021.

Online advertising was the biggest growth area in advertising between the fourth quarter 2020 and the first three months of 2021.
The UK also had the second highest share of businesses in the survey that had mostly or fully automated processes such as receiving payments from business customers ( 52%), making payments to suppliers ( 47%), and procurement ( 42%).

Dan Edelman, vice-president and general manager, UK Merchant Services, at American Express, said: “While it has been a very challenging year for UK businesses, the GBSI shows signs of optimism – with increased spending across key B2B categories, including online advertising, ecommerce and technology.

“Businesses have their sights on the future and have been spending to increase their resilience and take advantage of growth opportunities ahead.”