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Trade Confidence Outlook

The BCC’s Trade Confidence Outlook is the largest quarterly survey of UK exporters.

It assesses the percentage of UK exporters reporting a change in overseas sales, investment, and confidence. The data for the TCO is drawn from the BCC’s Quarterly Economic Survey (QES) – the UK’s largest independent quarterly business survey – which receives responses from around 2,500 exporters from across the UK, from all sectors and sizes.

Q2 2021 Trade Confidence Outlook

Q2 2021 Trade Confidence Outlook

Exporters still face significant issues after a historically weak Q1. The survey of more than 2,800 UK exporters revealed that the percentage of firms reporting increased export sales had risen to 27%, a 7-point rise from the previous quarter. The percentage of businesses reporting decreased export sales fell to 28%, down from 41%, however this remains a historically high proportion. 45% reported no change in their export sales.

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Q1 2021 Trade Confidence Outlook

Q1 2021 Trade Confidence Outlook

The British Chambers of Commerce’s Trade Confidence Outlook for Q1 2021 reveals the stark issues facing UK exporters in the first months of this year. The survey of more than 2,900 UK exporters revealed that the percentage of firms reporting decreased export sales had increased to 41%, up from 38% in the previous quarter. The percentage of businesses reporting increased export sales fell to 20%, down from 22% in Q4 2020. 40% reported no change in their export sales.

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Q4 2020 Trade Confidence Outlook

Q4 2020 Trade Confidence Outlook

These results illustrated the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 economic crisis on severely weakened business conditions, alongside the uncertainty that many exporters faced as the UK entered into a new trading relationship with the EU, as 41% of exporters reported decreased sales.

More optimistically however, 44% of exporters expected their turnover to increase over the next 12 months.

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Q3 2020 Quarterly International Trade Outlook

Q3 2020 Quarterly International Trade Outlook

The continuing global pandemic, coupled with the ongoing uncertainty of the UK’s departure from the European Union, makes current and future trading conditions very difficult for business.

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Q2 2020 Quarterly International Trade Outlook

Q2 2020 Quarterly International Trade Outlook

The first 6 months of 2020 have been an extremely challenging time for businesses trading both overseas and domestically, according to the largest independent survey of UK firms, released by British Chambers of Commerce.

The impact of Coronavirus has been felt at all stages of supply chains across every sector.

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Q4 2019 Quarterly International Trade Outlook

Q4 2019 Quarterly International Trade Outlook

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.

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Q3 2019 Quarterly International Trade Outlook

Q3 2019 Quarterly International Trade Outlook

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.

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Q2 2019 Quarterly International Trade Outlook

Q2 2019 Quarterly International Trade Outlook

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.

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Q1 2019 Quarterly International Trade Outlook

Q1 2019 Quarterly International Trade Outlook

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.

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Q4 2018 Quarterly International Trade Outlook

Q4 2018 Quarterly International Trade Outlook

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.

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Q3 2018 Quarterly International Trade Outlook

Q3 2018 Quarterly International Trade Outlook

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.

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BCC says November Trade data shows imports rebounding as exports remain flat

Looking at the last six months, a clear picture is emerging of significantly lower EU imports to the UK than three years ago, with a smaller reduction in exports to the EU.

BCC:  Stronger GDP growth in November unlikely to be sustained

The latest figures confirmed a significant uptick in growth in November, before the emergence of Omicron and the implementation of Plan B. This is likely to be followed by a modest fall in output in December and January, as consumer caution to socialise and spend, and mounting staff absences limit activity.

BCC says LFT supply must improve to make 5-day isolation effective

Businesses are continuing to tell us they are struggling with high levels of absence due to Covid and will welcome the news it is judged safe to further reduce the isolation period. But too many say that staff are also finding it difficult to get the Lateral Flow Tests they need to prove they can return to work.

BCC  welcomes launch of trade negotiations with India

If agreement can be reached with India on tariff reduction, removing technical barriers to trade in goods and services, and on digital trade it has the best potential of any of the UK’s individual free trade negotiations to date.