What is clear from the results of this survey is that exporters still do indicate that they will grow at the start of 2012, albeit at a slower pace than they did before. This isn’t great news for the prospects of rebalancing the economy away from domestic consumption and Government spending, towards investment and exporting, but it is no disaster either.

The Chancellor has announced further measures to help the UK’s exporting community, but policymakers can and must go further in order to generate an exporting culture amongst the UK’s SME population. In particular, moves to improve outbound trade missions and promotional activity, and the implementation of exporting skills within schools would help both current and future exporters. The government must also support a national export drive, with more support for firms in key areas such as trade finance and insurance.