Confidence is growing among UK manufacturers that they can increase export sales with seven in ten saying their foreign turnover will improve, according to a survey published today by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) and DHL.
Twenty-eight per cent of the 2400 exporters surveyed were from the manufacturing sector, and 69% of them believe their turnover is likely to improve, compared with 66% last quarter. Across the complete sample of services and manufacturing industries, 72% expect their turnover to improve this quarter – the highest number on record.
More than one third also said that they expected to increase staff over the next quarter.
The BCC said that although businesses were confident, more needed to be done to help firms break into fast-growing markets abroad if the government’s target of increasing exports to £1trillion by 2020 were to be achieved.
BCC director general John Longworth said there were small signs of export reorientation away from Europe and North America towards stronger growth regions like the so-called MINT countries such as Mexico, Nigeria and Indonesia, but there was still a lot more to do. “As a nation we currently only spend 0.02% of GDP on trade support, which is nowhere near enough if we are going to rebalance our economy towards net exports,” he added.
Copyright Ken Hurst 2014