The number of small to medium-sized exporters that expect to continue growing their overseas sales has fallen following the EU Referendum, according to the latest Business in Britain report from Lloyds Bank. However, the report shows that overall prospects are still positive and export experiences over the last six months have improved, with the US and Canada the areas that businesses believe will be most attractive to trade with going forward.
The results showed:
• A net balance of plus 20 per cent of exporters (33 per cent in January 2016) now expect their total overseas sales to increase in the next six months
• A net balance of 11 per cent (19 per cent in January 2016) of businesses expect exports to Europe to improve during the next six months
• Whilst, 18 per cent (35 per cent in January 2016) expect their competitiveness overseas to improve
Adrian Walker, head of global transaction banking, at Lloyds Bank, said: “Although overall expectations for the next six months are less optimistic than they were at the start of the year, overall businesses remain positive about the months ahead.
“There has been a decline in the number of firms that expect exports to grow over the next six months, compared to January, but more businesses still expect exports to grow than to contract.
“Considering the uncertainty that has been caused by the outcome of the EU Referendum, the fact that so many businesses have not been put off by the economic and political uncertainty over the summer is encouraging.
“However, when you consider their performance in the early half of this year, it’s not entirely surprising.
“More businesses are now choosing to export, and those that do are selling more of their goods and services overseas, showing that there are opportunities out there for those who choose to pursue them.”
The Business in Britain report, now in its 24th year, gathers the views of 1,500 UK companies, predominantly small to medium-sized businesses, tracking opinion on a range of performance and confidence measures.