Confidence is strong for UK exporters
19th May 2017
Confidence is high for UK exporters, according to a report by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) and DHL.
The latest Quarterly International Trade Outlook shows the number of businesses reporting improved export sales increased in the first quarter of 2017. Businesses in both manufacturing and services are also more confident that their turnover and profitability would increase in the coming 12 months.
The BCC/DHL Trade Confidence Index, which measures the volume of trade documentation issued by accredited Chambers of Commerce, rose by 5.5 per cent on the quarter - and is up 9.06 per cent from the same quarter last year - standing at its second highest level on record.
The results show that businesses are continuing to trade despite political uncertainty, however currency fluctuations remain a concern. Over half of manufacturers (52 per cent) and 25 per cent of services firms say exchange rates are more of a concern to their business than three months ago.
Dr Adam Marshall, BCC Director General, said: "Confidence among exporters is strong, which is a timely reminder that businesses are doing their best to ignore the cacophony of political noise around them and focus on the success of their own operations.
"But rising costs, recruitment difficulties and concerns around currency fluctuations could temper their growth if allowed to continue unchecked. For UK exporters to succeed in the long-term, the next government must deliver not only a Brexit deal which allows for frictionless trade with Europe, but also pragmatic and practical support for businesses looking to develop lasting links with new customers and markets around the world."
Ian Wilson, CEO DHL Express UK and Ireland, said: "As a facilitator of international trade, we've seen our customers embrace the short term benefits that came with the fall in the value of the pound. However, this report demonstrates that whilst businesses are confident, they are not complacent - with currency fluctuations a lingering concern for exporters. In these uncertain times, there is an even greater imperative to expand the portfolio of markets businesses trade with to help spread the risk across multiple currencies."
How is your business doing? Have you experienced an upturn in exporting? What is your view?
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