Exporters continued to tread water through the final quarter of 2019 according to the largest independent survey of UK firms, released by British Chambers of Commerce and DHL Express.
BCC Quarterly International Trade Outlook for Q3: Manufacturing exporters report stark drop in sales and orders
A majority of UK manufacturing exporters are reporting a stark worsening in sales and orders, with indicators showing a substantial drop compared to 2017 and 2018 levels.
The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) and Bibby Financial Services (BFS) have revealed that uncertainty around Brexit, tariffs and exchange rate volatility are holding back the potential of many UK exporters.
The recent survey included 1,140 internationally active UK businesses, and found that general uncertainty around Brexit was considered the top barrier to export, listed by almost half (47%) of businesses, followed by specific concerns around tariffs and exchange rate volatility, listed by 35% and 33% respectively.
New research from the British Chambers of Commerce shows a concerningly high number of UK firms aren’t ready for a no deal Brexit. Business has consistently called on government to avoid a messy and disorderly exit but in light of the political turmoil and relentless uncertainty, clearer and more consistent information is needed to help them prepare.
The survey of over 1,500 firms from across the country, found that in the midst of conflicting political messages over the likelihood of no deal and remaining gaps in government guidance, two-fifths (41%) of UK businesses have not done a Brexit risk assessment.
Many UK exporters are treading water at a time of deep uncertainty, according to the latest Quarterly International Trade Outlook from the British Chambers of Commerce, in partnership with DHL.
The survey of 3,400 exporters found nearly two-thirds (63%) of manufacturers report exchange rates as a concern to their business, indicating the pressure from sterling volatility.
More UK exporters are reporting a decrease in orders in the opening quarter of the year, with cashflow and confidence dipping too according to the latest Quarterly International Trade Outlook from the British Chambers of Commerce, in partnership with DHL.
The report based on the responses of over 3,400 exporters shows that one in five manufacturers (23%) and service firms (20%) saw their export order books decline in the first three months of the year – the highest for both since Q2 2017 when records began.
The percentage of both manufacturing and services exporters who are expecting to increase their prices has risen in the past three months, as international traders struggle with the value of the pound and pressure from the cost of raw materials and other overheads, according to the latest Quarterly International Trade Outlook from the British Chambers of Commerce, in partnership with DHL.
The report, based on a survey of over 2,600 exporters, and export documentation data, shows that nearly half (49%) of manufacturers and 39% of services companies plan to raise their prices, up from 41% and 34% respectively.
It’s a time of considerable change and turbulence for many UK’s exporters. The uncertainty of Brexit continues to weigh on many, as does currency fluctuations and global trade turmoil, which can dent confidence for firms trading goods and services across borders.
That said, UK businesses are resilient, and many exporters continue to perform strongly in the current circumstances. Confidence in turnover is strong but concern over exchange rates remains high in light of sterling volatility.
The BCC has submitted responses to DIT consultations on FTAs with Australia, New Zealand and the USA, and membership of the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). The submissions emphasise the need to balance market potential with strategic considerations, such as the need for the UK to build the institutional capacity for trade negotiations and the interdependence between agreements.
A survey by British Chambers of Commerce, in partnership with DHL Express UK, has today revealed that almost half – 49% – of businesses have uncertainty over Brexit front of mind when deciding whether to trade internationally, highlighting the economic cost of the persistent lack of political clarity.
The research also shows that while there are many concerns for businesses when deciding whether to trade internationally, those that do trade internationally are more likely to be innovative within their business – 65% of those that are internationally active have launched a new product or service in the last 12 months, compared to just 41% of firms who are UK-focused.
The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), in partnership with independent business funder, Bibby Financial Services (BFS), has conducted one of the biggest surveys of business opinion since the referendum, amassing the views of over 2,500 firms from across the UK.
We found that nearly two-thirds of firms still aren’t preparing for Brexit – and in the event of a ‘no deal’ outcome many would cut investment and recruitment plans.
A recent BCC survey, in partnership with the Port of Dover, finds that over a third (36%) of traders rely on the just-in-time delivery of material and components, but that many are not preparing for changes to customs procedures after Brexit.
The survey found that delays at UK or EU ports would lead to considerable business disruption, particularly for those operating a just-in-time model.
Nearly a third (29%) of companies believe they will be impacted in terms of administration, costs or operations by delays or congestion at UK or European ports after Brexit but still aren’t yet planning for it.
Across the United Kingdom, Accredited Chambers of Commerce are the front door to international trade at a local level. In many regions, Chambers work with the Department for International Trade to offer advice and support directly to exporters, and also offer commercial services that help businesses trade as well.
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BCC Director General Adam Marshall welcomes the Chancellor’s announcement on measures to boost financial support for businesses affected by Coronavirus.
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