United Kingdom - Country Commercial Guide
Market Opportunities

Overview of best prospect sectors, major infrastructure projects, significant government procurements and business opportunities.

Last published date: 2022-09-11

U.S. and UK businesses are well established as trading partners with strong market opportunities in IT, service, aerospace and defense, health and pharmaceutical, and travel sectors (for details see leading sectors chapters).  The UK economy is undergoing a historic realignment following its decision to leave the EU single market and customs union, while at the same time dealing with the economic impact of the COVID pandemic.  The UK was the first country in the world to administer the COVID-19 vaccine outside of clinical trials, and in February 2022 announced a transition to a “living with COVID” strategy that saw the lifting of nearly all remaining COVID-related restrictions.  Due to this reopening, GDP growth was positive throughout 2021 and the upward trend has continued into early 2022. Posting the fastest growth rate among G7 countries in 2021, the UK’s economy surpassed its pre-pandemic level in the first quarter of 2022, due largely to increased government spending.  Full year 2021 GDP growth reached 7.4 percent, an increase over the projected 6.5 percent. Although analysts predicted five percent growth in 2022, the International Monetary Fund has downgraded global 2022 growth forecasts for the UK to 3.2 percent in 2022 and 0.5 percent in 2023 owing to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, rising energy costs and global supply chain disruptions.