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, which provides insight into the UK’s international trade.
Overall, the findings of the latest QITO show that despite the uncertainty around Britain’s future trade relationship with the EU, UK businesses are clearly continuing to cross-border trade. Most importantly, Britain’s manufacturers and service providers alike are confident that their profitability will either increase or remain constant moving forward.
In his foreword to the report DHL Express UK & Ireland CEO Ian Wilson welcomes this positive attitude:
“UK exporters continue to be undeterred in their ambition to take their products and services overseas.”
He also emphasises that thanks to the “rapid evolution of ecommerce and technology”, more British businesses than ever before can go global more quickly – making their products “more accessible than ever”.
Dr Adam Marshall, BCC Director General, also considers the results positive: “Our findings serve as a reminder that it is businesses that trade with other businesses, not governments.” He does however stress that the government needs to support businesses in order for them to reach their trade potential.
Trade Confidence Index
The Trade Confidence Index stands at 119.96. This represents a quarter-on-quarter decrease of 1.4 per cent, but is up 4.8 per cent from Q4 2015.
Export Sales and orders
In the manufacturing sector, the balance of firms reporting improvements in export sales over the previous three months fell slightly by one point to +16 per cent in Q4 2016. The balance of manufacturers reporting improved export orders rose to +13 from +12 in Q3. The services sector fared slightly better: the balance of firms reporting improved export sales remained at +8, while the balance of services reporting improved export orders rose from +5 to +6.
Export sales and orders
In the manufacturing sector, the balance of firms reporting improvements in export sales over the previous three months rose from +16 per cent to +26 per cent. The balance of manufacturers reporting improved export orders rose to +22 per cent from +13 per cent in Q4. The services sector continued to show growth levels lower than in previous years, with the balance of firms reporting improved export sales rising from only +8 per cent to +10 per cent, while the balance of services reporting improved export orders fell slightly from +6 per cent to +5 per cent.
Trade and Economic Outlook
The World Trade Organisation (WTO) is currently expecting 2.4 per cent growth in world trade in 2017. The WTO expects global trade growth of between 2.1 per cent and 4 per cent in 2018.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecasts global growth of 3.5 per cent in 2017 and 3.6 per cent in 2018.
The Q1 2017 QITO includes fact sheets for Hong Kong, Cambodia, and Vietnam. Each fact sheet includes an economic snapshot, opportunities for UK businesses, market strengths, cultural tips, and Customs tips.
Read the full Q1 2017 QITO here