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Export industry boasts solid performance in new BCC/DHL Trade Outlook report

By Iain Gilbert

Date: Thursday 17 Aug 2017

Export industry boasts solid performance in new BCC/DHL Trade Outlook report

(ShareCast News) - The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), with assistance from DHL, published its latest quarterly international trade outlook Wednesday.
The report showed many exporters had easily carried strong performances in the first quarter over to the second but, listed some wider economic factors as a cause for concern.

The BCC/DHL Trade Confidence Index fell 2.25% in the quarter but still remained at its third highest level on record.

Based on responses from over 3,500 exporting businesses, the survey showed that as the pound continued to fluctuate in the wake of Brexit, 68% consider exchange rates as a primary concern to business.

Recruitment difficulties also posed a difficulty in both manufacturing (67%) and service (51%) units. Access to skilled manual and technical labour was causing some anxiety for exporters in the manufacturing sector; the report stated this was of major concern to 69% of businesses polled.

Just over a third of exporters were concerned about inflation (36% in manufacturing and 33% in services), as 39% of exporting manufacturers expected the price of its products to increase in the next quarter.

"As we begin negotiations for our departure from the EU, the UK government must ensure that the concerns of businesses are acknowledged and that the necessary infrastructure is put in place to ensure Britain continues to be truly global - maintaining and further developing our country's international trading links," said Ian Wilson, chief executive of DHL.

Dr Adam Marchal, director general of the BCC, said, "Many manufacturers are capitalising on the advantages the fall in sterling has brought to overseas sellers since the EU referendum. That said, exporters also tend to import raw materials and product components, and are concerned that the sustained depreciation of the pound may erode their margins."

81% of business cited the cost of sourcing raw materials as the reason for the intended price hike in the three months leading to 30 September.

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