The QITO report is designed to give British businesses a better understanding of international opportunities, with a focus on dynamic new markets. It also features a Trade Confidence Index as a measure of the UK’s exporting health.
In his foreword to the document, DHL Express UK & Ireland’s CEO Phil Couchman addresses uncertainties for British businesses due to economic fluctuations and the upcoming EU referendum. He also reassures businesses that support is still there, and that UK exporters can still succeed in international markets:
“Export performance continues to fluctuate across the different regions of the UK – making it an unpredictable time for businesses… With the EU referendum just around the corner, this is something that will be on the minds of exporters and also of those thinking about taking that first step in their export journey. However, businesses shouldn’t be put off by this uncertainty. Exporters and potential exporters should be reminded that there are plenty of support systems for businesses to lean on… such as DHL, the BCC and many other export experts.”
Dr Adam Marshall, Acting Director General at BCC, calls for support from Britain’s politicians to “focus on fixing the fundamentals of infrastructure, training and access to finance”. He also added that BCC continues to provide practical support to UK firms: “We are continuing to expand our Global Business Network, so that businesses in every region of the UK can be put directly in touch with experts on the ground in overseas markets through their local Chamber.”
Trade Confidence Index
The Trade Confidence Index stands at 116.04. This represents a quarter-on-quarter increase of 1.38 per cent.
Britain’s regions and nations
The largest quarter-on-quarter increases in export document volumes were in the West Midlands (7.4 per cent), South West (6.9 per cent), and North West (6.5 per cent).
Export Sales and orders
8 per cent more manufacturing firms reported an increase over a decrease in export sales in Q1 2016, whilst service sector firms reported an improvement in export sales of +13 per cent.
Trade and Economic Outlook
The World Trade Organization is expecting a 2.8 per cent growth in world trade in 2016.
The British Chambers of Commerce forecasts UK exports to grow by 2.3 per cent and imports by 3.4 per cent in 2016. Exports are expected to increase by 3.0 per cent and imports by 2.8 per cent in 2017.
The UK economy grew by 2.3 per cent in 2015 and by 0.4 per cent in Q1 2016, which is a slight increase on the previous quarter. The service sector remains the main driver of economic growth in the UK. The British Chambers of Commerce forecasts UK GDP growth of 2.2 per cent in 2016 and 2017.
The Q1 2016 QITO includes fact sheets for Mexico, Chile, the Philippines, and Malaysia. Each fact sheet includes an economic snapshot, opportunities for UK businesses, market strengths, cultural tips and Customs tips.