Global Overview of the Business Services Industry

June 2022

This briefing examines how the business services industry is performing globally and in the largest countries in terms of business services output. The report also provides data for production, market size, imports, exports, industry costs, industry profitability and number of companies. The industry and market overview provides benchmarks against other countries in the relevant region.

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Examining trends shaping the business services industry

Automation and AI

Accelerating digitalisation is expected to have a significant impact on the business services industry, increasing efficiency and improving quality. To provide appropriate business solutions to customers, as well as to stay ahead of competitors, extensive data analysis will be a must. The use of artificial intelligence, including machine learning, will allow for simpler, faster processes, automation of back-end tasks and real-time data interpretation.

Personalised offers

With the help of AI, such as machine learning, as well as the use of big data, it will be easier to create more personalised and more relevant offers. Determining trends in data and offering better tailored services in accordance with individual needs will improve the customer experience and increase customer loyalty. Simultaneously, personalisation will lead to fewer follow up inquiries, further improving process efficiency.

Value-based business models

Low barriers of entry into the industry and rising competition levels will require companies to switch towards a value-based model, or in other words, offering more for the same price. Similarly to personalised offers, customers of businesses with value-based models are expected to show higher loyalty and brand recognition, positively impacting revenues.

Introduction

Scope
Examining trends shaping the business services industry
Key trends impacting the business services industry in 2022

Global overview

Business services among the fastest growing industries globally through to 2026
Full industry recovery over 2021
US and China to continue to dominate global industry
Cost discipline to continue as profits remain under pressure
Asia Pacific and Europe to lead with strongest growth rates in business services market
Rising energy prices and increasing inflation pressure the services industry
Energy prices and inflation break record highs in 2022

Leading Companies

Accounting and audit companies to dominate the top 10 list
Total number of companies increases, with services becoming vital to economic growth
Concentration to remain low with technologies helping to find cost-effective operating ways

Global outlook

China and the US to lead future production absolute value growth
Poland, China and the UK set for among the most rapid expansion in the services industry
Key future trends shaping the global business services industry

Country snapshots

US: Industry to continue on a growth path as federal support increases business confidence
R&D to lead services industry’s demand growth
China: Industry to benefit from government initiatives aimed at mitigation of COVID effects
Zero-COVID policy may impede faster services industry growth in the near term
Germany: Growth to be challenged by growing costs
Incoming EU funds to support business and consumer confidence
France: Strong recovery leading to stabilising growth
High number of multinational headquarters in Paris to elevate services demand
UK: Industry to see solid growth as businesses adapt to post-Brexit environment
Digitalisation and labour reshuffling to shape industry’s development
Japan: Among the slowest growth rates compared to other developed economies
Industry to face future demographic challenges
Australia: Economic recovery to strengthen business services industry
Changes in labour market to affect services industry
Netherlands: Stable increase in turnover on the back of recruitment services
Dutch companies benefit from being at the centre of international business services trade
Canada: Industry to record substantial growth in turnover over the outlook
Government investments in R&D, digitalisation and tax cuts to support business growth
Italy: Industry’s recovery after the pandemic to be slow
Industry to return to higher industry value growth over the medium term
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