UK Exports Remain Flat (July 2022)
Overseas sales growth has been consistently flat for over 12 months since the economy fully reopened after lockdown, according to a British Chamber of Commerce survey including over 2,600 UK export firms.
The Britsh Chamber of Commerce’s quarterly Trade Confidence Outlook for Q2 2022 demonstrated that a majority of exporters reported increased overseas sales to be “unchanged from Q1 at 29%, while those reporting a decrease remained at 25%.”
In comparison, 40% of businesses consistently reported increased domestic sales across the same time period.
“Manufacturers trading overseas are under particular pressure, with only 39% expecting their profitability to increase in the next twelve months, compared to 48% of service sector exporters. This compares to 43% of all businesses surveyed in the QES.”
Manufacturing exporters are also the most likely to expect to raise prices in the next year, according to a record high of 78% businesses within the survey.
“Almost nine out of 10 (89%) firms in this sector cite 'raw materials' as their biggest cost pressure, with 74% citing 'utilities' and 70% citing labour costs.”
The Head of Trade Policy at the British Chamber of Commerce said:
“The combination of supply chain disruption, soaring prices, and the impact of Brexit red tape and compliance costs has had chilling effects on exports, especially for smaller firms already scarred by the pandemic. “Recent ONS figures have shown an increase in exports to the EU, driven in part by shortages caused by the war in Ukraine. But our data shows there are serious underlying issues – which are hitting smaller manufacturing exporters the hardest."