Exporter confidence rises

More than two thirds of British exporters expect their turnover to increase over the next 12 months, a joint British Chambers of Commerce (BCC)/DHL Express survey has revealed.

The research, which surveyed more than 2,300 exporting firms, found that 70% think their turnover will improve in the next year, 10% more than in Q2 2013.

The levels of optimism varied between sectors. Exporting manufacturers were more confident in Q2 2014, with 72% expecting turnover growth compared to 68% in Q1 2014.
However, service sector exporters were less confident, with the number of firms predicting improved turnover falling from 73% in Q1 2014 to 70% in Q2 2014.

The report also found:

  • recruitment intentions increased 10% since Q2 2013
  • 41% of exporters plan to hire more staff in Q3 2014
  • 35% of exporting firms said their cashflow improved in Q2 2014, while 15% said it decreased
  • the increase in exporting activity was highest in the East Midlands, Northern Ireland and Yorkshire.

John Longworth, director general of the BCC, said:

“This is fantastic news – as boosting our international trade efforts are key to our long-term economic success.

“But there is still more the UK can do if it is to reach its full exporting potential. Our international trade survey published recently showed that less than half of the businesses have ambitions to grow overseas.

“As a nation we can and must do more if we are to remain competitive and stand a chance at rebalancing the UK economy for the long-term.”

Phil Couchman, chief executive of DHL Express UK and Ireland, said:

“We must make sure that UK businesses are not only equipped with the information and resources they need to [enter new markets], but that there is ongoing investment to help them on their path to meet the Government’s 2020 exports target.”

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