Isle of Man Pulse survey shows optimism

The results of the second Pulse survey are now in and it suggests an optimistic outlook for the Isle of Man economy. The Isle of Man Pulse survey, run by KPMG in the Crown Dependencies and in association with the Institute of Directors, is now freely available to read and download online. 

Simon Nicholas

The optimism extends from many of the surveyed businesses indicating increased off-island activity and all business sectors expecting increased turnover over the next year. This is a welcome shift in trend to recent times, following difficult trading conditions during the continued pandemic. Whilst there are still sectors which are depressed, such as Retail and Hospitality, there is no doubt the broader economy feels like it is turning the corner. Other challenges still remain, such as changes to international tax policy and tackling effective Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) strategies, and the survey responses offer a barometer reading on local feeling for these key board agenda items. 

Optimism and increased focus on ESG are mirrored in the recently released KPMG CEO Outlook survey, with growth and expansion and ESG front and centre in most business plans. The global report finds that CEOs are incredibly confident in the growth prospects of their company and the international economy in general. Thus whilst we often think that our economy is different to the rest of the world, it’s clear that the ‘Isle of Man’ economic experience is being mirrored around the world.

The Pulse report offers real local results, unique and relevant to the Isle of Man and its economy, and includes responses on topics such as business growth, turnover expectations, reactions to Manx border controls, tax policy and ESG plans. Based on data received prior to the summer, the key highlights from the second survey include:

  • 44% of Isle of Man businesses surveyed experienced increased off-island activity, compared to 26% in the last survey. 
  • Across the island’s business sectors, many expect turnover to increase in the next 12 months despite feeling their business growth was constrained at the time of the survey. 
  • In both of the surveys to date, 69% of respondents said they would not change the Isle of Man border policy, despite noting some trading difficulties. 
  • The majority of businesses expressed concern that changes in international tax may impact the Isle of Man economy. 
  • Manx businesses with an ESG plan in place are very much a minority. Survey responses suggest a lack of knowledge and data is the reason for this. 

The report includes expert analysis and commentary from KPMG’s data scientists, along with 18 pages of survey data and results, offering detailed insights into the island’s business sectors.

Simon Nicholas, Partner and Head of Clients and Markets at KPMG in the Crown Dependencies, commented, “At the time of the survey, some businesses were improving and prospering as COVID restrictions were eased, yet others indicated they were constrained by an inability to access clients due to the remaining COVID restrictions and border policies that were still in place earlier in the summer. But, overall, there is an optimistic feel to the second survey. The combined results from the surveys so far are just starting to deliver some real trends and insights, and the power of the survey will only build with time as we collect more data.”

The report is freely available at home.kpmg/cds

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