Exporting Confidence at record high but more support needed to reach £1tr target, says BCC/DHL report

14 February 2014

A record 72% of exporters expect their turnover to increase this quarter, according to new research issued by The British Chambers of Commerce and DHL Express.

The BCC/DHL Trade Confidence Index, which measures  UK exporting activity and business confidence, shows that confidence is strongest among exporting manufacturers, with 69% believing that their turnover is likely to improve, compared with 66% last quarter.

However, the index says that the volume of exports for goods fell by 3.1% in 2013 Q4.

Director general of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), John Longworth, says:  “Businesses are more confident, but if we are to reach the government’s target of increasing exports to £1tr by 2020, more must be done to help firms break into fast-growing markets abroad.”

The key findings from the report are:

  • Confidence among exporters about future turnover is at its highest level since 2007 (72%), with 69% of manufacturers expecting turnover to increase.
  • More than one third of exporting firms (34%) say that they expect to increase staff during the next quarter
  • Although the volume of exports in goods fell overall compared with the previous quarter, they increased for nearly half of service sector firms (47%) and for 42% of manufacturing firms in Q4 2013
  • Nearly half of exporters (46%) say their export sales increased in Q4 2013, compared to only 7% who say that they fell.
  • More than half of exporters (62%) believe that their profitability will increase this year.
  • The number of exporting businesses claiming that raw material costs were adding to price pressures rose from 34% to 38% in Q4 2013.

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