Rise in exports during first quarter of 2015, manufacturing survey shows

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18th May 2015 12:05 - Industrial

A new report, released by the British Chambers of Commerce and DHL Express, Rise in exports during first quarter of 2015, manufacturing survey showsindicates that there has been a rise in orders and sales over the past few months; with more than half of the respondents claiming to have experienced an increase in export orders during the first quarter of 2015.

This percentage is significantly higher than that of 2014, when just 36 per cent claimed to have seen an increase in export orders in the first quarter.

The survey of 2,300 manufacturing companies followed recent figures, which highlighted that manufacturing and exports may ‘lead the way’ in Britain’s economic recovery.

In May 2015, the Markit/CIPS survey of manufacturing purchasing managers indicated that there has been a decline in activity growth in British factories. The findings came a week after overall economic growth figures for the first quarter, were revealed as being a lot weaker than initially anticipated.

Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce, John Longworth, claimed that manufacturers were resorting to larger and faster growing export markets overseas to assist their growth targets.

He said: “Encouragingly, the increase in export sales and orders has come about in spite of the rise in the pound against the euro over recent months.”

The findings from the British Chambers of Commerce survey, found that 44 per cent of manufacturers increased their labour force in the initial three months of 2015. Of these additions, 84 per cent were full time roles, an increase of 64 per cent from the last quarter of 2014.

Despite the increase in work force, the manufacturing industry was still affected by the strong pound, with 55 per cent of the manufacturing companies in the survey suggesting they were impacted by the exchange rates, which affected their ability to trade globally. In the previous quarter, just 48 per cent said the same, and in the year prior, 34 per cent said the same.

Longworth said that the progress towards eradicating the UK’s trade deficit is ‘elusive’.

“We have to develop a pipeline of new exporters and help existing exporters break into new markets. Only then will the UK regain its position as a trading powerhouse and unlock future economic growth.” he added.

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