The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), in partnership with DHL, has produced its latest Quarterly International Trade Outlook (QITO) – April to June 2019.
Designed to give British businesses a better understanding of new markets, the QITO report outlines the international opportunities they can create. It also features the Trade Conference Index which measures the UK’s exporting health by giving a detailed analysis of trends in trade documentation issued by accredited Chambers of Commerce.
The findings of the Q2 2019 QITO reveal that export sales and orders are slowing as a result of the extended Brexit uncertainty. The balance of exporting manufacturers reporting their international sales increased stood at +14 per cent, down from +24 per cent in the same quarter last year. This quarter’s QITO also reports that 63 per cent of manufacturing exporters say they are more concerned about exchange rates now than in the previous three months.
Measuring the volume of trade documentation issued nationally, the BCC/DHL Trade Conference Index now stands at 121.48 which is a decrease of 2 per cent on Q1 2019 and a decrease of 3 per cent on Q2 of the previous year.
Shannon Diett, VP of Marketing, DHL Express UK, commented on the focus businesses should place on preparing for Brexit in advance of the October deadline. “There are a number of practical steps that can be taken, despite the lack of clarity on future trading relations with Europe. Actions such as implementing digital customs paperwork solutions with your logistics provider or obtaining an EORI number will help make the transition to new trade arrangements, regardless of the ultimate Brexit scenario, as seamless as possible for exporting businesses. Additionally, increasing the number of markets a business trades with reduces risk and increases growth possibilities in the long term.”
Trade and Economic Outlook
The International Monetary Fund has downgraded its growth outlook for the global economy for 2019 to 3.2 per cent, down from its previous forecast of 3.3 per cent.
The UK economy grew by 0.3 per cent in the three months to May 2019, down from the 0.4 per cent growth recorded in the previous three-month period. The UK economy is expected to grow by 1.3 per cent in 2019, by 1 per cent in 2020 and by 1.2 per cent in 2021. The BCC also expects UK exports to grow by 1.6 per cent in 2019 and again by 1.6 per cent in 2020.
The Eurozone economy grew by 0.2 per cent in Q2 2019, down from growth of 0.4 per cent recorded in the previous quarter. The US economy grew at an annualised rate of 2.1 per cent this quarter which is weaker than the growth of 3.1 per cent recorded in Q1 of 2019. China’s economy grew by 6.2 per cent in Q2 which is down from growth in the previous quarter but still in line with the government’s growth target of 6-6.5 per cent.
The World Trade Organisation currently forecasts world trade growth of 2.6 per cent this year and 3 per cent in 2020.
The Q2 2019 QITO report includes fact sheets for France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxemburg. Each fact sheet includes an economic snapshot, opportunities for UK businesses, market strengths and cultural tips.
Read the full Q2 2019 QITO QITO_Q2_2019.