BCC: Exporters Selling And Hiring More

Over 70% Of Exporters Expect Their Turnover To Improve This Quarter


Steven Beahan, Partner | +44 (0)114 294 7868

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has published new research showing optimism among the UK's exporters.

The BCC Trade Confidence Index, which measures both exporting activity and business confidence, found that 40 per cent of companies are looking to hire more staff in an attempt to boost turnover and profit.

This represented the highest number on record and the BCC now claims that the UK is well on the way to a sustained recovery.

But this wasn't the only good news, as confidence among exporters about future turnover is at its second highest level since records began, while 62 per cent of exporters believe their profitability will increase in 2014.

John Longworth, director general of the BCC, said the results gave his organisation a number of reasons to feel optimistic going into the third financial quarter of 2014.

"Our exporters are selling more and hiring more, showing ambition and willingness to export and grow their business. They are taking advantage of the opportunities on offer when breaking into new markets and it is great to see that the volume of exports is now at an all-time high," he explained.

However, Mr Longworth did sound a note of caution, stating that the UK's economy still has "much more potential to realise", adding that the government's target of increasing exports to £1 trillion by 2020 will be "difficult", although "not insurmountable".

In April, the BCC made headlines for calling on the government to speed up the HS2 rail project, which has been hit by delays and is still controversial among a number of environmental campaigners.

The BCC argues the infrastructure is vital for the UK's future competitiveness, but others believe its impact on a number of rural areas makes it a poor investment for the UK taxpayer.

"We urge all political parties to put short-term interests to one side and work together ... to make this key infrastructure project a reality," said Dr Adam Marshall, executive director of policy at the BCC.

Expert Opinion
This news is very positive for businesses of all sizes, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises which will have been growing in confidence in recent months with the ongoing improvements being seen in the economy.

"There are significant opportunities open to companies which have identified potential in overseas markets, but central to any success is the need to have solid foundations. This means ensuring an organisation is structural prepared for the future – whether that means recruitment or taking up new premises.

"We would urge small businesses to speak to legal advisers on the key matters which will affect them as they look to the future, with the ultimate aim of reducing the impact of the inevitable growing pains which come with growing an organisation."
Steven Beahan, Partner