The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), in partnership with DHL Express, has produced its Quarterly International Trade Outlook (QITO) – October to December 2018.
The QITO report is designed to give British businesses a better understanding of dynamic new markets and the international opportunities they create. It features a Trade Conference Index, which measures the UK’s exporting health by analysing trends in the volume of trade documentation issued by accredited Chambers of Commerce.
The findings of the Q4 2018 QITO indicate that while some exporters are seeing an increase in export sales over the last three months, others show confidence that performance will improve. 57 per cent of both exporting manufacturers and service firms expect to see an increase in turnover in the next twelve months. The Outlook also highlights the high proportion of exporters expecting their prices to increase over the next three months due to raw material costs and overheads such as office rent.
The BCC/DHL Trade Conference Index (TCI), a measure of the volume of trade documentation issued nationally, now stands at 125.32 after an increase of 4.1 per cent on Q3 2018 and an increase of 1.0 per cent compared to Q4 of the previous year.
Shannon Diett, DHL Express UK Vice President of Marketing, commented that despite many difficulties, the resilience of British business remains: “We would encourage businesses to continue looking beyond Europe for opportunities and ask the government to ensure trade deals are in place post Brexit to enable this successful trade to smoothly continue.”
“Almost half of exporting manufacturers and 39 per cent of exporting services firms expect their prices to rise, which is an increase on the previous quarter. A considerable 84 per cent of manufacturers are experiencing price pressure due to the weaker pound pushing up prices.”
Trade and Economic Outlook
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has downgraded its growth outlook for the global economy for 2019 from its previous forecast of 3.7 per cent to 3.5 per cent.
The US economy grew at an annualised rate of 3.4 per cent, slower than the growth of 4.2 per cent recorded in the previous quarter. China’s economy grew by 6.6 per cent in 2018, the slowest pace of growth since 1990 and down from growth of 6.8 per cent in the previous year.
The UK economy grew by 0.6 per cent in Q3, up from the 0.4 per cent growth recorded in the previous quarter. The BCC currently expects the UK economy to grow by 1.3 per cent in 2019 and by 1.5 per cent in 2020.
The World Trade organisation currently forecasts world trade growth of 3.7 per cent.
The Q4 2018 QITO report includes fact sheets for the Singapore, India, and Indonesia. Each fact sheet includes an economic snapshot, opportunities for UK businesses, market strengths, cultural tips, and Customs tips.
Read the full Q4 2018 QITO here.