The number of businesses reporting improved export sales increased in Q1 2017, according to the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC).
The BCC/DHL trade confidence index, a measure of the volume of trade documentation, increased by 5.5% to 126.55 – up 9.06% from Q1 2016.
Manufacturers reporting improved export sales surged from +16% to +26%, while services reporting export sales rose from +8% to +10%.
Looking at expectations over the next 12 months, the BCC found:
- Confidence among manufacturers edged up to +44%, while those in services climbed to 39%
- Improvement of profitability rose to +28% for services and to 32% for manufacturers.
Dr Adam Marshall, director general at BCC, said: “Confidence among exporters is strong, which is a timely reminder that businesses are doing their best to ignore political noise around them and focus on the success of their own operations.”
Ian Wilson, CEO at DHL Express UK and Ireland, added: “As a facilitator of international trade, we’ve seen our customers embrace the short-term benefits that came with the fall in the value of the pound. However, this report demonstrates that whilst businesses are confident, they are not complacent – with currency fluctuations a lingering concern for exporters.”