BCC: Export growth slows in the face of global headwinds

Friday 26 February 2016

UK export growth continued to slow at the end of 2015, with manufacturers in particular struggling, a report from the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) and DHL has shown.

Export sales and orders across both manufacturing and services sectors fell significantly in the last quarter of 2015, according to the latest Quarterly International Trade Outlook.

The survey’s Trade Confidence Index, measuring the volume of trade documentation issued, fell by 2.5 per cent on Q4 2014 to stand at 114.46 in Q4 2015 - a decline of 0.9 per cent on Q3 2015.

Among manufacturers, the balance of firms reporting improvements in export sales over the previous three months fell from +10 per cent in Q3 to just +1 per cent - the lowest level since Q3 2009 – while export orders dropped from +10 per cent to +1 per cent.

Export growth also dipped in the services sector, where the sales balance fell three points to +15 per cent, and export orders fell to +9 per cent from +16 per cent - the lowest level since Q4 2011.

John Longworth, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce, said: “British exporters have faced considerable challenges in recent months. Slowing growth in China and the US, along with the continued weakness in the Eurozone, have made it harder for firms to build momentum.

“While the rate of growth has dropped significantly, exports are continuing to grow - a testament to British businesses, particularly in the face of such global uncertainty.

“However, if we are to reverse our longstanding trade deficit then British firms need greater practical support – access to finance, a skilled workforce and good infrastructure connections – if they are to successfully break into new export markets and this needs to be a national priority for the UK otherwise we risk being left behind in the global race.”

Phil Couchman, CEO, DHL Express UK, said: “Some areas of the UK – in particular Scotland, the North East and Northern Ireland – are showing strong growth in export volumes. However, with most regions experiencing declining volumes and the UK’s trade gap recently reaching an all-time high, it’s more important than ever that we concentrate on supporting more British businesses to export.

“The UK’s relentless demand for imported goods means that we need to work hard to significantly boost exports and strike the right balance.

“As the UK focuses its efforts on exporting as a way of securing the future of our economy, DHL will continue to support businesses and ensure that more and more organisations feel comfortable in taking that first step overseas.”

Forthcoming Events

July 24 2019 6:00PM / 6.00-9.00pm
Fenland Quiz and Hog Roast
August 9 2019 2:00PM / 2.00 - 4.00pm
Summer Garden Party
September 2 2019 / 5.00-7.00pm
Informal Networking Evening – Huntingdon
September 4 2019 / 5.00-7.00pm
Informal Networking Evening – Stamford
September 9 2019 / 5.00-7.00pm
Informal Networking Evening – Ely
September 10 2019 3:00PM / 3.00-5.30pm
Meet the Neighbours - Stansted