Yorkshire and Humber has third fastest-growing export activity in UK, says BCC Q3 Trade Index

The third highest growth in export activity in the UK – and the highest in England -  is being delivered in Yorkshire and Humber, says the British Chambers of Commerce and DHL Q3 Trade Confidence Index.

Export activity in Yorkshire and Humber – the UK’s biggest and most diverse region -is exceeded only by Wales and Scotland, according to the index which measures both UK exporting activity and business confidence of more than 2,300 exporting firms.

In spite of a slight slowdown in export activity, the report says that UK exporters generally remain determined to expand internationally. Although fewer exporters reported increased sales in Q3, most say they remain consistent.

Overall the report shows that growth in export activity has slowed slightly since its peak in Q1, with confidence levels for both manufacturing and service exporters falling. The volume index of trade documentation issued by Accredited Chambers of Commerce also fell slightly from 119.27 in Q2 to 116.93.

Among highlights in the Index report are that 29% of exporters say that sales have increased in Q3, compared to 47% in Q2; more than half of exporters (59%) believe their profitability will improve in the next 12 months and recruitment intentions have increased as the most exporters (75%) tried to recruit staff in Q3.

Other key findings in the report are that:

  • Of those exporters no longer reporting increased export sales, most said that sales have remained consistent (61% in Q3 compared to 48% in Q2).
  • Slightly fewer exporting businesses intend to invest in new plant and machinery (33% in Q3, compared to 37% in Q2).
  • A third of exporters (33%) said their cashflow had improved in Q3, compared with 13% which said that it deteriorated

Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), John Longworth, says: “To link UK businesses to the vast opportunities around the world, the government needs to introduce sustained, high-quality support for exporters.

“The UK should be exceeding the level of resource dedicated to export support by our major international competitors. A concerted campaign to support growing businesses is also required to nurture the exporters of the future, many of whom are unable to access finance even before they are able to consider global expansion.

“By building international networks, investing in our export skills and removing barriers to trade, we will encourage more British businesses to look beyond our shores. As a nation we can, and must, do more if we are to meet the export ambitions the prime minister has set for 2020.”

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