The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), in partnership with DHL, has produced its latest Quarterly International Trade Outlook (QITO) – October to December 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 Q4 2019 QITO show that the balance of manufacturing exporters reporting improved export orders has now been negative for two consecutive quarters. The balance of exporting manufacturers reporting their international sales increased stood at +5 per cent, up from +3 per cent in the same quarter last year. This quarter’s QITO also reports that 64 per cent of manufacturing exporters say exchange rates remains their top concern and continues to reflect the uncertainty regarding trading arrangements.
Measuring the volume of trade documentation issued nationally, the BCC/DHL Trade Conference Index now stands at 125.53 which is an increase of 0.9 per cent on Q3 2019 and an increase of 0.2 per cent on Q4 of 2018.
Shannon Diett, VP of Marketing, DHL Express UK, commented on the state of exports in the last quarter of the year and what lays ahead. “After such a long period of uncertainty it’s no surprise that exports continued to languish in the last quarter of the year. However, with the expectation of new trade deals, businesses can now look to the future and begin to plan their export strategies for 2021 and beyond.”
Trade and Economic Outlook
The International Monetary Fund has downgraded its growth outlook for the global economy for 2020 to 2.9 per cent, down from its previous forecast of 3 per cent.
The UK economy recorded zero growth in Q4 2019, down from the 0.5 per cent growth recorded in the previous three-month period. The UK economy is expected to grow by 1 per cent in 2020, by 1.3 per cent in 2021. The BCC also expects UK exports to grow by 1.1 per cent in 2020 and by 1.4 per cent in 2021.
The Eurozone economy grew by 0.1 per cent in Q4 2019, down from growth of 0.3 per cent recorded in the previous quarter. The US economy grew at an annualised rate of 2.1 per cent this quarter unchanged from the previous quarter. China’s economy grew by 6 per cent in Q4 also unchanged from the previous quarter.
The World Trade Organisation currently forecasts world trade growth of 2.7 per cent in 2020.
The Q4 2019 QITO report includes fact sheets for Ghana, Nigeria and Egypt. Each fact sheet includes an economic snapshot, opportunities for UK businesses, market strengths and cultural tips.
Read the full Q4 2019 QITO here.