Special Briefing: The Brexit Vote’s Impact on the United States

UK voters have voted in favour of their country leaving the EU. Although this outcome does not impact the US directly, we advise our customers that there will be indirect implications for the US economy.

In the near term, the US dollar will appreciate as global investors flock to safe haven currencies like the dollar and the yen. Looking beyond the market's gyrations and into the longer term, Brexit also has significant policy implications for the US. The US Federal Reserve will adopt a more cautious approach in the wake of the market volatility and will refrain from making any changes to the policy interest rate until it feels confident that markets have stabilised sufficiently to absorb any policy change. Dun & Bradstreet has therefore changed its baseline interest rate forecast: We no longer expect the Fed to raise interest rates at its July meeting.

Positive Implications

  • The overall impact will be contained, with the US domestic economy expanding steadily.
  • Our proprietary indicators (such as the Small Business Health Index or SBHI) have prompted us to leave our US growth forecast unchanged; we expect GDP growth of 1.7% in 2016.
  • Interest rates will remain at current levels, and monetary policy will stay accommodative longer, allowing businesses to obtain capital at lower cost.
  • Delays in concluding trade deals with the EU (such as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership or TTIP) could prompt the US to forge new ties with non-EU partners.

Negative Implications

  • Upward pressure on the dollar will make US exports costlier abroad and imports cheaper, acting as a headwind to growth.
  • A strong dollar also weighs on the corporate profits of US multinationals, presenting a downside risk to business investment in the US.


  • Expect financial market volatility to remain elevated in the near term due to high uncertainty.
  • Take advantage of the low interest rate to acquire assets and grow operations.
  • Monitor the UK’s negotiations to exit the EU, assess the likely impact on current business operations and planned strategies, and implement risk-mitigating contingency plans as needed.
  • Where it is feasible, hedge against currency risk caused by the appreciating dollar.

Where possible, explore trade and investment opportunities in non-EU markets to diversify risks.