The QITO report demonstrates the opportunities and risks for British businesses trading internationally, including 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 CEO Phil Couchman addresses the slowing growth of the UK economy. However, he also highlights that it’s more important than ever for British businesses to trade internationally – and that they’re not on their own.
“As the UK focuses its efforts on exporting as a way of securing the future of our economy, we will continue to support businesses and ensure that more and more organisations feel comfortable in taking that first step overseas.” Phil Couchman, CEO, DHL Express UK & Ireland
John Longworth, Director General at BCC, emphasised that the UK’s “appetite for imported goods” means Britain will need to redouble its efforts to drive exports to reverse the trade deficit.
Trade Confidence Index
The Trade Confidence Index stands at 114.46. This represents a quarter-on-quarter decline of 0.93 per cent and a 2.53 per cent decline on the same quarter in 2014.
Britain’s regions and nations
Whilst six regions and nations saw a decline in their performance, the North East saw an increase of 7.07 per cent and Scotland saw an increase of 5.76 per cent in the fourth quarter.
Export Sales and orders
The number of firms reporting improvements in export sales declined in Q4 2015: only 1 per cent more firms in the manufacturing sector reported an increase over a decrease. The strongest performances were in Wales, the North East and the East of England.
Trade and Economic Outlook
The World Trade Organization is expecting 3.9 per cent world trade growth in 2016. The UK’s widening trade deficit was driven by a 0.3 per cent fall in exports and a 2.7 per cent rise in imports during the quarter.
The British Chambers of Commerce forecasts UK exports to grow by 3.4 per cent and imports by 3.2 per cent in 2016. In 2017, UK exports are expected to grow by 3.0 per cent and imports by 2.6 per cent.
The UK economy grew by 0.5 per cent in Q4 2015 and by 2.2 per cent overall in 2015. The service sector continues to drive economic growth across the UK. The British Chambers of Commerce forecasts UK GDP growth of 2.5 per cent in 2016 and 2017.
The Q4 2015 QITO includes fact sheets for Indonesia, Singapore, Hungary and Romania. Each fact sheet includes an economic snapshot, opportunities for UK businesses, market strengths, cultural advice and Customs tips.